Senator Rosa Franklin, RN received her nursing diploma educa­tion at Good Samar­itan Waverly Hospital School of Nursing in Columbia, South Carolina. She went on to obtain a BA in Biology/​English from the Univer­sity of Puget Sound, and then an MA in Social Science/​Human Relations from Pacific Lutheran Univer­sity. She also partic­i­pated in the Gynecorp Training Program at the Univer­sity of Washington, as well as attending numerous contin­uing educa­tion workshops.

Rosa’s nursing career spanned more than 40 years and many positions in health care before she retired and moved to her second career – politics! Rosa was an active member of WSNA for most all of those years, serving on numerous commit­tees and policy bodies at the District and State level and on the Board of Direc­tors of the Pierce County District Associ­a­tion and the Mary Mahoney Club.

She was elected to the State legis­la­ture in 1990, serving there until January 1993 when she was sworn in as Senator from the 29th legisla­tive District, which includes south Tacoma and surrounding areas. Senator Franklin is the first African-American female elected to the Washington State Senate. Her leader­ship roles in the Senate are a tribute to her accom­plish­ments, as well as a symbol of the respect given her by the Senate body. She has been chosen to serve as Majority Whip and as the Democ­ratic Whip and now, in her second term, is serving as Presi­dent Pro Tem of the Senate. She serves as vice chair of the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee and the Rules Committee. She is also a member of the Human Services and Correc­tions Committee and the Labor, Commerce and Finan­cial Insti­tu­tions Committee.

Senator Franklin is contin­u­ally working for the good of the people and has made lasting contri­bu­tions to the health of her commu­nity, her constituents and the citizens of Washington State. She has sponsored bills dealing with such varied health-related issues such as prescrip­tion drugs, medical billing state­ments, women’s health, mental health benefits, school health aides, newborn infant safety, NDA/​genetic testing, immuniza­tions in long term care, health insur­ance for disabled persons, medical equip­ment, HIV/AIDS preven­tion, school nurses, breast and cervical cancer, and the recog­ni­tion of Washington state nurses during National Nurses Week. She was also an active supporter of the WSNA Manda­tory Overtime bill.

Rosa’s service to the commu­nity is strongly depicted by her Civic Activ­i­ties which include the League of Women Voters; Tacoma Urban League; NAACP; Safe Streets; Cancer Screening Program for Targeted Popula­tions; Board member, Cascade Regional Blood Services; Advisory board, Bates Technical College; Pierce County AIDS Walk.

Rosa has received many honors and recog­ni­tions in her lifetime. They include: Outstanding Volun­teer from Pierce County Govern­ment; Honorary Citizen from the City of Tacoma; the Pierce County Nurses Associ­a­tion Nurse of the Year; the Democ­ratic Woman of the Year Award; the Thurgood Marshall Award; Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award from the Washington Women’s Polit­ical Caucus; the Lifetime Achieve­ment from the Washington State Democ­ratic Party; the Woman of Distinc­tion Award from the Girl Scouts of America to name only a few.

Rosa’s work, both as a RN and a legis­lator, will provide guidance for many gener­a­tions to come in Washington state and, as a member of her staff said, Those of us who know her, love and respect her to the fullest, and believe she is a true beacon that others can follow.”

While all of the above show a woman of renown accom­plish­ment, she believes her greatest achieve­ment is her 52 year marriage to husband, James and her immediate family of three children and three grandchildren.