January marks the begin­ning of the 2017 – 19 biennium and the start of the 2017 legisla­tive session. In this first year of the biennium, the legis­la­ture will pass the two-year operating budget with continued pressure to fund K‑12 educa­tion per the McCleary decision.

Our top issues #

Nurse staffing

WSNA continues to focus on staffing as a top priority. We are working closely with the Washington State Health Care Authority on the imple­men­ta­tion of hospital incen­tive payments based on select nursing quality outcome measures, and we continue to monitor compli­ance with the current nurse staffing law.

Rest breaks

WSNA is contin­uing our efforts on behalf of nurses and patients in the courts and with the Depart­ment of Labor &Industries to ensure that nurses and other health care workers receive uninter­rupted rest breaks. 

Budget priorities #

Public health funding

Support a new $60 million invest­ment to fill critical gaps in core public health services, such as disease preven­tion and response – and support the design and imple­men­ta­tion of shared services to modernize our state’s public health system.

Student loan repayment program

Support an additional $9 million to the health profes­sion loan repay­ment and schol­ar­ship program. Support additional funding for nurse educator salaries and nursing enroll­ment slots.

Policy priorities #

School nurse supervision

Clari­fies what acts are consid­ered regis­tered nurse practice to be solely deter­mined and carried out by a licensed regis­tered nurse as defined by Washington law, such as the admin­is­tra­tion of medica­tion as required by a treat­ment order or summoning emergency medical assis­tance. This does not prohibit a non-nurse from super­vising a licensed regis­tered nurse in a school with respect to matters other than the practice of nursing.

Nurse Licensure Compact

WSNA remains concerned with major provi­sions of the compact. See WSNA Policy Paper on NLC for full details.

Balanced Billing (medical debt)

Ensure that consumers receiving care at an in-network facility are charged the in-network rate for out-of-network providers working in that facility.

Take action:
Have you or your family had an experi­ence with a surprise medical bill, based on treat­ment by an out-of-network provider in an in-network facility? If so, please share your story with us!

Address the opioid crisis

Support a statewide secure medicine return program and other efforts to address the opioid crisis, such as enhance­ments to the prescrip­tion drug monitoring program.

Federal priorities #

WSNA is an affil­iate of both the American Nurses Associ­a­tion and the American Feder­a­tion of Teachers (AFT). Learn more about federal prior­i­ties at their websites below.