Nursing Government Affairs Advocates (NGAA)

The strategic goals of both The Ohio State University and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center include attracting and developing a diverse and talented team as well as providing high-quality professional development. Government affairs staff support Ohio State through the pursuit of public policy outcomes that strategically benefit the university.

The creation of the Nursing Government Affairs Advocates (NGAA) is a collaboration of our academic and medical center nursing and government affairs leadership. Its mission is to address policy, regulatory and legislative issues that impact nursing at Ohio State and to mobilize nurses to become active in government and community affairs.

Key to this collaboration is communicating the effect that proposed policies and laws will have on our nurses and their patients and profession; our students and their preparation and education; and our medical center and its health care professionals and operations. We offer quarterly town halls with guest speakers, publish updates on the HealthBeat HUB and in nursing and other newsletters, and send e-mails to inform our nursing faculty, staff and students of current matters of interest.

For more information on the NGAA and to receive its communications, please email

2023 Fellowship Applications being accepted for Nursing Government Advocacy Program

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The executive sponsors of the Nursing Government Affairs Advocates are pleased to announce the continuation of The Ohio State University Fellowship for Nursing Government Advocacy. Applications are now being accepted at this link for the 2023-2024 fellowship. Applications are due on Sunday, October 22. No more than two nurses will be selected for the fellowship, with an announcement to be made in November 2023.

The fellowship was created in 2018 as a priority for the NGAA, and the inaugural fellow was selected in 2019. The fellowship reflects the goal of providing an opportunity for nurses at Ohio State to experience the full spectrum of advocacy and to further develop our health professionals into informed and skilled champions of the nursing profession and of Ohio State.

The Office of Government Affairs will mentor and guide the fellows through a 13-month period of educational programming, shadowing Government Affairs staff and developing and implementing projects such as visits by public officials and a panel discussion between nurses and legislators on the nursing experience. The fellows will be exposed to the administrative and legislative branches of the federal, state and local levels of government, with the opportunity to engage directly with appointed and elected officials.

Selected candidates from the application review will be asked to participate in a brief interview prior to final selection. The 13-month fellowship will run from December 2023 through December 2024.

If you have any questions regarding the Fellowship or the application process, please contact Colleen O’Brien, Office of Government Affairs, at or 614-292-4689.

The NGAA includes all Ohio State nursing students and nurses in both academic and medical center positions. It serves a tripartite purpose of:

  • Educating the nursing team and the community we serve regarding the impact of health care legislation and policy;
  • Monitoring, initiating and reviewing legislative and regulatory activities as they apply to the practice of nursing and Ohio State; and
  • Implementing activities that enhance the practice of nursing while promoting a healthy community.
Executive Sponsors of NGAA

The Nursing Government Affairs Advocates are supported by the following leaders:

Karen Rose, PhD, RN, FGSA, FAAN
Dean and Professor, Ohio State College of Nursing

Stephanie Milburn
Associate Vice President, Government Affairs, Wexner Medical Center & Health Sciences Colleges

Kris Kipp, MSN, RN
Executive Director, Clinical Services, Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute
Chairperson, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Nurse Executive Council

2022 Ohio State Fellowship for Nursing Government Advocacy

November 2, 2022: The executive sponsors of the Nursing Government Affairs Advocates (NGAA) are pleased to share that Raya Cupler, MPA, BSN, RN, assistant nurse manager for 7 East Rhodes Acute Care, and Catharyne Henderson, BSN, RN-BC, staff nurse for 12 James Surgical Oncology Unit, have been selected as the 2022 Fellows for Nursing Government Advocacy.

Raya Cupler photoRaya Cupler realized her interest in policy as a nursing student when she had the opportunity to participate in nursing forums and see the impact of public policy on her work as a health professional. She further witnessed the interconnectedness of public policy and health care during the first months of the pandemic, when as a staff nurse, she served as a COVID-19 coordinator and a resource for all the COVID-19 units in University Hospital. A recent graduate of the master’s program at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State, Cupler sees the fellowship as further strengthening her understanding of how policy is made and providing her with hands-on experience.

Catharyne Henderson photoCatharyne Henderson brings a well-rounded clinical bedside nursing experience to the fellowship, along with demonstrated leadership as a charge nurse, a preceptor and a co-chair and education chair for her unit council. This is exemplified through her involvement in developing a 77-page educational surgical reference for nurses on her unit that was found to be an exemplary tool for educating new nurses and was placed on the Wexner Medical Center’s nursing education website. Henderson is looking to the fellowship to broaden her understanding of the policymaking process and to further develop her abilities to engage with public officials and effectively share her viewpoints and those of her fellow nurses.

2021 Ohio State Fellowship for Nursing Government Advocacy

March 11, 2021: The executive sponsors of the Nursing Government Affairs Advocates (NGAA) are pleased to share that Justin Kelly, MHI, BSN, RN, staff nurse for The James Medical Intensive Care Unit, has been selected as 2021 Fellow for Nursing Government Advocacy.

Justin Kelly

Justin Kelly’s active involvement in key committees and ability to engage other nurses were seen as great attributes. He also demonstrated a strong interest in continuously improving the patient experience, fostering meaningful change and informing legislators on the work of a practicing bedside nurse.