WSNA in OIympia #
We stay on top of issues and bills in that impact the nursing profession, health care and collective bargaining. Through regular updates and opportunities to participate in the political process, WSNA helps nurses stay informed and have a say in the decisions that impact your practice.
School nurse funding #
Increase funding for nursing hours to safely reopen schools. Nearly half of Washington schools have a nurse onsite less than one day a week. School nurses are being called on to lead COVID-19 infection prevention and mitigation protocols, provide daily symptom checks and collaborate with their local public health departments – in addition to their regular duties. Some wealthier districts have hired COVID-19 response teams with roles defined by OSPI, led by the school nurse; funding should be provided to increase school nursing hours and to allow districts to have equitable access to quality COVID-19 response teams. Schools must be provided appropriate and safe levels of PPE for all staff and students.
Public health funding #
For 20 years, we have asked the legislature to find a dedicated and sustainable public health funding stream. The time is now. Our country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that we need to rebuild our national, state and local public health systems.
Nurse education funding #
Preserve the state’s investment in nursing faculty in community and technical college schools of nursing. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need to graduate more highly skilled nurses, and this funding is critical to recruiting and retaining nurse educators.
Health system transparency #
As state and federal governments pour money into hospitals and health care facilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there is little ability to track how this funding is being distributed and dispersed. Hospitals have blamed pandemic-related actions for revenue loss which has resulted in employee layoffs and furloughs, but hospitals have failed to provide data to support that assertion. Even before the pandemic, it was hard to track the adequacy and efficacy of health system charity care and community benefit. Hospitals have not provided data to show whether these programs are working as intended to address community health needs and to reduce health disparities felt most acutely by communities of color. The pandemic has also highlighted the need for clear, transparent reporting of health care facility PPE levels and testing capacity to ensure worker and patient safety across the state.
Worker protections and workplace safety #
It is imperative that the legislature support the Worker Protection Act and improve workplace safety, particularly for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. The pandemic has identified policies that can be improved to ensure worker safety, such as employer-provided PPE, testing, paid sick leave, workers compensation coverage and protection against retaliation. Additionally, the Worker Protection Act provides a way for workers to effectively raise safety complaints and to have them addressed in a timely, just manner by giving workers and their advocates the ability to enforce labor and anti-discrimination laws on behalf of the state when the state is unable to do so itself. This is especially critical for enforcement of existing labor and workplace protections.
Racial equity and justice #
Racism is as much a public health emergency as the COVID-19 pandemic. It is time for the legislature to deliberately work to undo systems founded on oppression and to replace them with budget and policy decisions that lift up communities of color. Within the health care space, we must remove systemic barriers to accessing health care. We must also work within our professional capacity to recognize and address bias and to ensure all patients are being listened to and heard. The current pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on the health of communities of color. These communities are contracting COVID-19 and dying at higher rates than their white counterparts. Communities of color are also experiencing a larger economic impact, including greater rates of job and health insurance loss. The public health crises of coronavirus and racism are inseparable. As the legislature moves to address the COVID-19 pandemic, it should work with equal determination to address systemic racism in all areas of state policy.
Legislator voting record
The 2020 Legislator Voting Record was developed based on priority bills that WSNA supported during the 2020 state legislative session. Not all WSNA priority bills were voted on in both chambers, which is why the bills lists differ from Senate to House. As the voting records indicate, most nursing issues have bipartisan support in Olympia.
- 2020 Legislator Voting Record (pdf; 224.2 KB)
Jan 14, 2021
Nurse education funding, public health funding, school nurse funding, health system transparency, worker protections and workplace safety, and racial equity and justice.
Jan 9, 2021
Washington hospitals must do better by nurses and health care workers to keep them safe and keep them on the job, where we all so desperately need them.
Jan 5, 2021
WSNA joins the prominent individuals and groups who have expressed concern and support for Dr. Benjamin Danielson in his recent resignation from Seattle Children’s and the Odessa Brown Clinic over ongoing racist and discriminatory practices at Seattle Children’s.
Oct 14, 2020
WSNA-PAC endorses in many statewide races but does not endorse for Federal Elections such as Congressional or Presidential races.
Oct 9, 2020
WSNA has long opposed the Nurse Licensure Compact for a variety of reasons — and in 2019, WSNA spent nearly 20 hours meeting with the members of the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission to discuss those concerns. In the end, many of our key concerns remained.
Oct 9, 2020
In the midst of a pandemic, systemic racism and West Coast wildfires, WSNA members are still lending their strong, collective voices to the need for workplace safety, transparency and equity.
Oct 5, 2020
Nurses make outstanding lawmakers, and right now we don’t have enough of them. If you are thinking about running for office, taking these steps in advance will help you succeed.
Sep 16, 2020
A few weeks ago, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the 2020 Census will end early on Sept. 30, which will result in an incomplete and inaccurate count of people. We cannot let that happen.