Patty Longstreet Hayes, MSN, RN has had the distinction of working for nursing in both Washington State and the “other” Washington, Washington, DC. She has held positions in government agencies as well as in the private sector.
Patty earned her BSN and MN from the University of Washington. She started her nursing career as a staff nurse at West Seattle Hospital. After finishing her masters degree in stress management and psychosocial nursing, Patty began working for the Department of Social and Health Services in their Community Nurse Program. This position was only the beginning of other positions with the state.
A longtime WSNA member, in 1984, Patty left DSHS to begin employment with WSNA as the Government Relations Specialist. In her 7.5 years with WSNA, Patty served as the Government Relations Specialist, the Director of Nursing Practice and Government Relations and finally as the Executive Director from 1989 – 1992.
Patty was instrumental in guiding WSNA through one of its most challenging periods early in her term as Executive Director – the union raids of 1989. Patty was always the cheerleader who kept people’s spirits high and kept them from despair when the outlook seemed so bleak.
As one of her former staffers put it, “The most memorable Patty story for me, was a terrible day in 1989 when WSNA overwhelmingly lost the election to represent nurses at Providence Medical Center. I was the half-time organizer, outnumbered over 12 to one by the non-nurse unions who staffed that campaign and when after the election, devastated and in tears, I returned to the office to the “celebration of the new WSNA” and was unable to face a party in full swing, Patty grabbed me, took me into her office and let me sit and sob while she took calls from live radio and extolled the virtue and future of WSNA!
“I completely credit the team of Patty Hayes as Executive Director and Joanna Boatman as President, for saving WSNA and launching the new tough responsive organization to represent nurses in the state of Washington and to continue to be a bell-weather state association for ANA.” When Patty announced her resignation in 1992 and her intent to move across the country to the other Washington, there were many tears shed in Washington State.
While in Washington DC, Patty served as the Associate Director of Federal Government Affairs for the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She also served as a consultant to the American Nurses Association and was responsible for development of stress management strategies. It is no secret that she practiced many of those stress management strategies while at WSNA!
In 1994, Patty returned from the other side of the country. Here, she was active as a Government Relations Consultant for nursing and health related groups such as the advanced registered nurse practitioners, the nurse anesthetists, the advanced practice psychiatric nurses, and others. In 1995, Patty assumed the role of Executive Director of the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission ; formerly known as the “Board of Nursing.” Patty worked for the welfare of all nurses and consumers of nursing services as well as continued to be a supporter of WSNA.
During her spare time, Patty served as an assistant professor at St. Martins College in Olympia. She was part of the team with Bobbie Berkowitz responsible for the curriculum development and instruction in the master’s program in Leadership and Public Policy. During this time, she was also responsible for a class in health care policy for Gonzaga University in Spokane as well as holding an adjunct faculty appointment at Seattle University.
In 1997, Patty became the Director of Policy, Legislative and Constituent Relations for the Washington State Department of Health. There she coordinates and directs the policy office and legislative program for the Department of Health. All of Patty’s experience in leadership, government relations and health care policy are called into play every day in this challenging and important position. Patty has expressed her commitment to serve the citizens of this state by providing the department with the essential leadership needed to convey important public health issues and solutions. Along with nursing concerns such as nurse delegation and scope of practice, Patty also has worked on special projects concerning immunization policy review, school health initiatives and other topics.
Patty has received many state appointments in both nursing and health-related areas. These include committee member of the Statewide Arthritis Advisory Committee; member of the University of Washington Community Nurse Practitioner Program Advisory Committee; member of the advisory committee for the UW Tacoma Leadership Collaborative; member of Gonzaga University School of Nursing Advisory Board; member of the Higher Education Coordinating Board Nursing Scholarship Oversight Committee and Nursing Articulation Advisory Committee; member of the Washington State Board of Nursing Chemical Dependency Task Force; member of the health and steering committee of the Statewide Steering Committee on Adolescent Pregnancy, Pregnancy Prevention and Parenting; and a member of the Governor’s Office Comparable Worth Advisory Committee.
Patty has been able to share her vast knowledge through publications and presentations. She has presented programs for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, and at a National Conference on Nurses and Prescriptive Authority. She has had articles in various nursing publications, including The Washington Nurse, the Department of Health Legislative Newsletter, the Nursing Commission Newsletter and others.
There have been many awards and honors bestowed on Patty from her profession and her peers. Patty received a special award from WSNA in 1993 in Recognition for Outstanding Service. In 1992, the Washington Associated of Nurse Anesthetists gave her their Honorary Recognition Award. The Northwest Society of Clinical Specialists in Psychosocial Nursing awarded Patty their 1990 Nurse of the Year award. Patty also received the President’s Recognition from the Washington Health Care Association in 1989.
Patty’s influence and legacy reaches from this state, across the country, and back again. She has demonstrated excellence in nursing, leadership, education, and nurse advocacy that has affected the health and social history of Washington State.