Press release

New Executive Director Named for Washington State Nurses Association

SEATTLE – The Washington State Nurses Association Board of Directors announced today that they have selected Washington state nursing leader Sally Watkins, Ph.D., MS, RN, to be the new WSNA Executive Director, replacing Judy Huntington, MN, RN, who is retiring in June after 18 years in the position. Dr. Watkins will join WSNA April 3, 2017.

“Dr. Watkins brings rich experience to the role, along with a staunch commitment to advocating for nurses through WSNA’s labor, health policy, nursing practice and education programs,” said Jan Bussert, BSN, RN, WSNA President. “She understands the numerous issues nurses face in the workplace, including staffing challenges, workplace violence, patient safety concerns and nurse fatigue. She also understands the financial pressures impacting the delivery of health care. Dr. Watkins is a proven leader and a strong, effective patient and nurse advocate who will work well with WSNA leaders, staff, our members and the community to address these issues.”

Dr. Watkins is currently Administrative Director, Clinical Resource Management for CHI-Franciscan Health System in Tacoma, Washington. She served as WSNA’s Assistant Executive Director of Nursing Practice, Education and Research from 2007 to 2014.

Dr. Watkins has a rich background in nursing as a staff nurse, head nurse, educator and administrator. She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from the Union Institute & University, a Master of Science from the University of Utah College of Nursing and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas System School of Nursing. Dr. Watkins is a graduate of the Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellows Program in Management for Nurse Executives. In addition, she has been a nursing educator in a variety of roles since 1984, including Clinical Faculty member of the University of Washington School of Nursing in both Seattle and Tacoma, and at Pacific Lutheran University School of Nursing, where she currently teaches a course in health policy in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

“This is an exciting opportunity to affect our changing health care system to enhance both safe patient care and the nursing profession,” said Sally Watkins. “I look forward to building strong relationships with registered nurses throughout Washington and with state agency staff, elected officials and other health care advocates as we work toward the common goal of delivering quality health care.”

About WSNA. WSNA is the leading voice and advocate for nurses in Washington state, providing union representation and trainings that allow nurses to reach their full professional potential and focus on caring for patients. WSNA represents more than 17,000 registered nurses who provide care in hospitals, clinics, schools and community and public health settings across the state. For more than 100 years, WSNA has championed issues that support nurses, advance professional standards and improve the health of individuals and families in Washington.