Hilke Faber Med Res

Hilke Faber, MN, BSN, RN

Hilke Faber is an exemplary nurse advocate, and has been throughout her career. From being on the front lines of toucg hospital contract negoti­a­tions, to pushing forward the role of the nurse practi­tioner in the state legis­la­ture, to advocating for residents of nursing homes to igniting a passion for polit­ical action in her fellow nurses, advocacy is a thread that runs through her career.

Faber has been an active member of the Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion since her gradu­a­tion from the Univer­sity of Washington School of Nursing in 1965, serving on numerous councils and commit­tees. She has also been actively involved in the King County Nurses Association.

As a staff nurse, Faber walked the halls of all hospi­tals covered under the Seattle Area Hospital Council contract to collect resig­na­tion letters from nurses during the 1967 – 68 contract negoti­a­tions. This huge mass resig­na­tion effort worked, ending in a new contract with wage increases.

Faber assisted with the successful passage of the expanded Washington State Nurse Practice Act in 1973, which included a new defin­i­tion of nursing and provided for the expanding role of nurses in advanced practice roles. In the face of opposi­tion from the medical and hospital associ­a­tions, WSNA was able to demon­strate the valuable contri­bu­tions of the nursing profes­sion to health care and the need for more flexi­bility in existing nurse practice laws to meet the health care needs of under­served popula­tions. Washington became the first state in the nation to recog­nize the advanced practice nurse as an indepen­dent” provider.

Faber also lobbied for third-party coverage for nursing services and passage of 1975 legis­la­tion mandating that all commer­cial carriers reimburse for nursing services in Washington state. She also was instru­mental in obtaining funds from Medicare for nurse practi­tioner services in rural areas of the state.

Faber contributed greatly to contin­uing educa­tion for nurses in Washington. She assisted in devel­op­ment of the WSNA Contin­uing Educa­tion Recog­ni­tion Program, which was adopted as a volun­tary CE program by the WSNA House of Delegates in 1974. This effort led to a Contin­uing Educa­tion Recog­ni­tion Program for all nurses in the state and passage of legis­la­tion in 1978 mandating CNE require­ments for re-licen­sure in nursing practice. Faber brought her consid­er­able experi­ence in contin­uing educa­tion to the role of educa­tion program specialist on staff at WSNA from 2004 to 2015.

Faber’s many accom­plish­ments speak to her commit­ment to giving vulner­able popula­tions a voice through policy, advocacy and leader­ship as a regis­tered nurse. In 1975, she was appointed by Mayor Uhlman to the Seattle Women’s Commis­sion, which advises the Mayor, City Council and city depart­ments. As vice-chair, Faber used her position as a regis­tered nurse to address issues affecting women such as health, housing, homeless­ness and domestic violence.

Much of Faber’s career was devoted to raising the voice of and improving care for those in long-term care facil­i­ties. In 1976, Faber became the first appointed Nursing Home Ombudsman for Seattle-King County, a role she filled until 1983. The program Faber devel­oped and directed served over 15,000 nursing home residents, their families and friends.

Faber also provided leader­ship in the passage of major nursing home reform legis­la­tion both statewide and nation­ally, including a Resident Bill of Rights and the Long-Term Care Resident Rights Law. She was

instru­mental in gaining passage of the federal law removing chemical and physical restraints from nursing home residents.

Faber served on the Board of Direc­tors of the National Citizens Coali­tion for Nursing Home Reform and on the Long-term care committee in the American Academy of Nursing; she was admitted as a fellow because of her work creating the first Ombudsman Program for Seattle-King County.

In 1984, Faber founded the Washington State Nursing Home Resident Councils, a statewide nonprofit member­ship organi­za­tion comprised of nursing home resident councils with the goal of bringing the voice of the resident into the state and national public policy debate. She recruited, trained and supported residents from 12 different nursing facil­i­ties to serve on the Board of Directors.

From 1992 to 2001, Faber was a Health Repre­sen­ta­tive to the AARP West Region, working with regional and state teams of volun­teers and staff in five states to develop, imple­ment, coordi­nate and evaluate health and long-term care consumer educa­tion, advocacy and commu­nity service projects.

In addition to her advocacy on behalf of nurses and long-term care residents, Faber has shared her experi­ence and passion for advocacy by mentoring nurses and helping them get involved. She was an early member of PUNCH, Polit­i­cally United Nurses for Consumer Health, which was the forerunner of WSNA-PAC, and her advocacy continues to this day. Faber is a trustee of the WSNA-PAC and a member of the Washington Senior Citizens Lobby and the League of Women Voters. She also lectures at the Univer­sity of Washington School of Nursing.

Faber’s many awards and recog­ni­tions include the King County Nurses Associ­a­tion Nurse of the Year in 1976, admis­sion as a fellow with the American Academy of Nursing in 1980 and the Resident Councils of Washington Recog­ni­tion Award in 2012