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. 

 

2021 Lobby Day

Thursday, Feb 4, 2021,  8am – 4pm
Your voice is more essential than ever. WSNA members are invited to attend 2021 Lobby Day to learn more about WSNA priority bills and meet with your legislators during the Washington State Legislature’s 2021 Regular Session.

WSNA's priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session #

Budget priorities

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.


Policy priorities

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.

Advocacy toolkit #

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.

Find your voting district
#

Look up bill information on the legislature’s website #

News #

WSNA statement of support for Dr. Benjamin Danielson

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.

WSNA-PAC Endorsements

WSNA-PAC endorses in many statewide races but does not endorse for Federal Elections such as Congres­sional or Presi­den­tial races.

Asking for an upgrade

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.

Thinking about running for office?

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.

TAKE ACTION: Our census is our power!

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.