• BAMBI Advocacy Student Scholars Program (BASS) | UTMB School of Nursing

BAMBI Advocacy Student Scholars Program (BASS)

Do you envision yourself becoming a nurse advocate? Are you interested in maternal health equity and how healthcare policy and professional engagement can make an impact on patient outcomes? If so, we invite you to apply to an exciting co-curricular program offered to UTMB's BSN students.


The UTMB School of Nursing BAMBI Advocacy Student Scholars program (BASS) program is a co-curricular opportunity for UTMB baccalaureate Spring entry nursing students interested in fostering their skills in advocacy and policy with a special focus in women's health equity.

BAMBI (Baby And Mother Bonding Initiative) is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) program which provides low risk, eligible offender mother to be housed with their babies in a secure residential facility following delivery rather than sending the newborn to family or alternative care. The UTMB SON, UTMB Health System and TDCJ have a collaborative partnership to improve the access, education, and resources for pregnant incarcerated mothers through the support and engagement of undergraduate UTMB nursing students. The BASS program is now part of the newly transformed partnership.

BASS students will participate in special events designed to promote advocacy growth, including panel discussions with local nurse leaders, community collaborators, as well as events that broaden their perspective on women's equity health issues. Students will also explore health disparities for vulnerable populations while developing real-time, student-led education and bedside support to pregnant incarcerated women.

BASS Mission

The BASS program's mission is to provide innovative approaches to developing the undergraduate nursing student skill set in addressing maternal health inequities through advocacy, policy exploration, professional engagement, and service learning.

BASS Values

  • To promote a transformative experience that produces nursing advocates that will advance the nursing profession now and in the future.
  • Preparing professional nurses to seek opportunities their role provides
  • Fostering an understanding of advocacy to discover how policy impacts practice and vulnerable populations

Student Selection, Responsibilities, and Benefits


  • 10 entering BSN Traditional students selected each Spring semester
  • Interested students submit short answer application and letter of recommendation from someone who can attest to their leadership and advocacy potential
  • Applicants reviewed and selected by School of Nursing faculty, leadership, and collaborators
  • An interview may be offered for final candidates
  • Applicants who have a 3.5 pre-requisite GPA or higher will be considered for this program


  • Attend and complete all 8 program modules, completed over 4 semesters in concurrence with the BSN program
  • Compile an advocacy and professionalism portfolio
  • Short reflection on module sessions
  • Prepare policy brief on topic of related legislative interest
  • End program project related to health equity, policy or advocacy
  • Attend BASS scheduled meetings and events
  • Must maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the BSN program


At no cost to the participant, students will be challenged and engaged in unique activities that build confidence and leadership competencies including:

  • Strengthen skills in patient education, patient interaction, and refinement of the helping relationship for vulnerable populations
  • Increased awareness of ethical and human rights issues and policy impacts on historically excluded populations
  • Increased self-confidence and self-efficacy in communication skills
  • Additional specialty nursing focus: obstetrics, gynecology, community, and infant care
  • Service opportunities with vulnerable populations- Population Health clinical hours (3rd semester)

Program Modules

Each cohort of BASS students will participate in two modules per semester. Modules will rotate so that students complete all eight prior to graduation. Through these modules, students will explore how to mitigate health disparities in maternal and population health settings through newly acquired skills and promotion of health equity. Depending on the module's activities, students can expect to spend on average 4-8 hours per module. Modules will be scheduled to avoid class/lab/clinical time conflicts. Concepts covered include: