Return to financial stability, growth and vibrant programs
The beginning of the new millennium also ushered in a new beginning for WSNA with a return to financial stability, steady growth in membership and vibrant, enhanced programs focusing on access to quality care, patient and nurse safety, improved working conditions, environmental health and safety, emergency preparedness, public health, nursing practice and continuing education. With sustained membership growth, WSNA is now the third largest state nurses association in the nation. The first eight years of this decade have seen extraordinary successes in legislative and political action with a national record of eight registered nurse legislators in key leadership positions in Olympia and legislative victories, including mandatory overtime, safe patient handling, nurse staffing and completion of full prescriptive authority for ARNPs. These victories are excellent and clear examples of the comprehensive approach taken by WSNA as a multi-purpose organization — through legislation, regulation, nursing practice and collective bargaining. WSNA’s intense focus on nursing practice means the protection of the scope and standards of nursing practice and nurse licensure while assuring public safety. As another wave of nursing shortage begins to take shape, WSNA is the leader in meeting this challenge through the creation and funding of the Washington Center for Nursing along with developing strategies to address the issues surrounding nursing recruitment and retention. The nursing shortage along with the increasing complex health care needs of the population translates to an extremely challenging workplace environment for nurses and concerns for safe patient care. WSNA’s experience and expertise in collective bargaining has greatly enhanced nurse and patient safety through workplace protections, increased benefits and more input into patient care decisions.
- WSNA is successful in limiting scope of Nurse Delegation to community based settings, i.e. boarding homes, adult family homes and developmentally disabled settings and not in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
- WSNA becomes a founding member of the United American Nurses, creating the largest national union of registered nurses; affiliated with both the ANA and AFL-CIO.
- The Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act is passed by the Legislature.
- WSNA forms ARNP Coalition and successfully lobbies for the completion of prescriptive authority allowing ARNPs to prescribe Schedules II-IV medications providing the ARNP has a joint practice agreement. This limitation was removed legislatively two years later.
- WSNA wins organizing election at Southwest Washington Medical Center and begins negotiating their first contract.
- WSNA issues Position Papers on Nursing Shortage and Workforce Issues and on Continuing Competency.
- Erosion of public health nursing and medical errors/systems safety are added to association priorities.
- Jan Bussert elected to ANA Board of Directors and later becomes ANA Treasurer.
- WSNA launches a statewide media campaign on Nursing Recruitment and Retention.
- WNLC issues “Washington State Strategic Plan for Nursing” and urges creation of a Center for Nursing in Washington State.
- WSNA wins decertification attempt by Teamsters Local 245 at Kittitas Hospital in Ellensburg.
- WSNA member, Dawn Morrell, is elected to the Washington State Legislature and is appointed Vice-Chair of the House Health Care Committee.
- WSNA wins landmark legislation protecting nurses from mandatory overtime.
- WSNA and the ARNP coalition tackle the Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Reform issue.
- WSNA Board endorses the “Precautionary Principle”and establishes the WSNA Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety Committee to address workplace and environmental safety issues.
- WSNA reaches over a million people with “Nursing — A Career for Life” PR campaign.
- WSNA initiates new Public Health Nursing Special Interest Group.
- WSNA and other groups collaborate to establish Washington Center for Nursing to address growing nursing shortage. WSNA secures two seats of the WCN Board.
- WSNA makes the final payment on the 1989 ANA critical assistance loan!
- With support from WSNA-PAC, eight Registered Nurses (Sen. Rosa Franklin, Sen. Margarita Prentice, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, Sen.Cheryl Pflug, Rep. Eileen Cody, Rep.Dawn Morrell, Rep.Judy Clibborn, and Rep. Tami Green) now serve in the Washington State Legislature – the most of any state in the country.
- WSNA is successful in passing bills to enlarge the Nursing Commission and provide funding for the Central Resource Center for Nursing.
- WSNA issues a Position Paper on Medical Errors and Patient Safety and joins Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “100 K Lives” Campaign.
- The Safe Patient Handling bill became law, providing for no manual lifting of patients.
- ANA, WSNA and NYSNA jointly file a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for failure to enforce nurse staffing requirements in hospitals.
- WSNA and other environmental groups are successful in securing passage of a first in the nation bill banning Toxic Flame Retardants.
- WSNA, in collaboration with other advanced practice nursing groups, achieves final completion of prescriptive authority legislation, making Washington state’s practice act, the most advanced in the country.
- WSNA in collaboration with other Coalitions is successful in securing additional funding for public health, mental health parity and increased funding for nursing enrollment slots.
- WSNA ends its affiliation with the United American Nurses (UAN).
- WSNA issues a Position Paper on Registered Nurse Delegation in Community Based Settings.
- WSNA issues a White Paper on Nursing Education in Washington state.
- WSNA holds nine regional workshops on Safe Nurse Staffing.
- WSNA supports development of the Nursing Students of Washington State (NSWS) organized as a constituent of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA), the first state student nurses organization since 1998.
- WSNA continues to monitor the activities of the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission and provides advice from the profession on such issues as continued competency, multi-state licensure, advanced practice issues, scope and standards of practice and protection of the public.
- Nearly 700 nurses and students attend Nurse Legislative Day.
- WSNA, in collaboration with the WSHA, NWONE and other nurse unions, lobbies successfully for passage of the Safe RN Staffing bill.