Ilona van der Ven '13

Hartwick Student Receives National Nursing Conference Scholarship

February 19, 2013

Hartwick College student Ilona van der Ven '13 of Lincolnville, ME has received one of the two scholarships available for the 2013 Student Policy Summit, sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Van der Ven was chosen to receive the award from a highly competitive pool of applicants from AACN member schools across the country.

According to the AACN website, "The Student Policy Summit is a three-day conference held in Washington, D.C. and is open to baccalaureate and graduate nursing students enrolled at an AACN member institution. Students who attend SPS are immersed in didactic program sessions focused on the federal policy process and nursing's role in professional advocacy."

The fourth annual Summit, to be held March 17-19, 2013, will feature van der Ven's essay submission in conference materials. Her essay will also be made available to participants in AACN's 2013 Spring Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., which is attended by nursing school deans and directors.

"I truly appreciated the ongoing support of the faculty and staff here at Hartwick as I navigated through the scholarship application process in addition to my studies," said van der Ven. "It is a great honor to receive this scholarship, and I hope students in the future can go to experience it as well."

Van der Ven is the first Hartwick student ever selected for this esteemed grant. "Numerous students applied from across the county, and your essay stood out among your colleagues," AACN Director of Government Affairs Suzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN wrote in an email to van der Ven.

In addition to patient care, van der Ven is also interested in the administrative aspects of nursing, and anticipates learning more during the conference about the federal policy process and nursing's role in professional advocacy.

"I am really looking forward to learning more about policies and the decision-making process involved in the health care industry," continued van der Ven. "To me, this award showcases the liberal arts in practice curriculum I've experienced here at Hartwick - receiving opportunities to learn both within and outside of the classroom."

During the conference, van der Ven will be accompanied by Dr. Jeanne-Marie Havener, professor and department chair of nursing at Hartwick College.

"Ilona is an amazing ombudswoman for our department, the College, and our profession," shared Havener. "As most people know, the world of healthcare is continuously transforming. To understand the new rules and regulations (particularly those that are emerging under the Affordable Care Act), and to anticipate and redefine our profession, professional education, and evolving health care system, we need to educate and develop health policy leaders in nursing. Ilona's achievement is representative of what a liberal arts education can do for a nurse, i.e., help him or her to see the big picture and move advocacy beyond the bedside to the boardroom or the legislative chambers. We are very excited for and proud of Ilona and look forward to her continued success and contributions in the field of nursing and health policy."

For more information on the event, visit

For more information on Hartwick's participation, contact Havener at 607-431-4781 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031