In this week’s update:

  • Week four recap
  • Register for WSNA Lobby Day
  • Rest Break Bill update – email your legislators
  • Workplace Violence bill introduced
  • Advanced practice psychi­atric nurses lobby in Olympia
  • Funding for school nurses

For more on WSNA’s 2019 Legisla­tive Prior­i­ties click here.

Week four recap #

Despite the snow earlier this week, things were busy in Olympia! Our Govern­ment Relations Team has been busy meeting with legis­la­tors and testi­fying on various bills being heard in Committee. On Wednesday, the Associ­a­tion of Advanced Practice Psychi­atric Nurses were in Olympia to meet with their legis­la­tors – educating about their full practice authority and being prescribers and how they work in a variety of capac­i­ties in our commu­ni­ties. It was a full day and they had a warm recep­tion from legis­la­tors who have mental and behav­ioral health as a top priority this session. 

During Friday morning’s hearings, WSNA contract lobbyist, Amy Brack­en­bury joined public health officials, pedia­tri­cians, and others in testi­fying in support of a bill that would no longer let parents claim a personal and philo­soph­ical exemp­tion” to prevent their children from receiving the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Paul Harris (R‑17th LD) from Vancouver, Washington – partially in response to the measles outbreak that has sickened more than 50 people in Vancouver. You can watch this morning’s press confer­ence about this legis­la­tion here.

Register for WSNA Lobby Day #

Nurses who show up in Olympia make a differ­ence — and can inspire legis­la­tors to support critical issues like uninter­rupted meal and rest breaks! Please join us in Olympia on February 28 for WSNA Lobby Day. You will also receive 2.75 CNE contact hours for your participation.

More infor­ma­tion and Lobby Day regis­tra­tion links are here.

Rest Breaks Bill update #

Next week, our rest breaks bills will have hearings in the House Appro­pri­a­tions Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Committee (SB 5190 / HB 1155. Your legis­la­tors need to hear from you on this issue – please click here to email them!

In an effort to derail the success of this legis­la­tion, the Hospital Associ­a­tion has intro­duced an alter­na­tive” that would under­mine worker and patient safety. SB 5344 adds language about rest breaks into an existing law, but this language simply maintains the status quo. Other language in this bill rolls back worker protec­tions that exist under current law and sets a max working week for nurses at 60 hours! Tell legis­la­tors to protect patient safety and oppose SB 5344 and nurses working to exhaus­tion while they care for us and to support HB 1155 and SB 5190.

Workplace Violence bill introduced #

When nurses showed up at WSNA’s Nurses Speak events this fall, your stories of workplace violence were shocking to legis­la­tors and candi­dates – most had no idea that nurses and other health care workers are nearly five times more likely to be assaulted than the rest of the American workforce.

This week, HB 1931 was intro­duced in the House with bipar­tisan support. This bill updates the defin­i­tion of workplace violence, requires health care facil­i­ties to update their workplace violence preven­tion plans every three years and outlines what needs to be included in those plans, and provides speci­ficity around what elements must be included in workplace violence preven­tion trainings.

We expect a companion bill to be intro­duced in the Senate next week.

Advanced practice psychiatric nurses lobby in Olympia #

A small, but mighty, group of psychi­atric ARNPs joined us in Olympia on Wednesday for the Associ­a­tion of Advanced Practice Psychi­atric Nurses Lobby Day to learn about the legisla­tive process and to educate their lawmakers on the educa­tion and role of psychi­atric nurse practi­tioners. Legis­la­tors and their aides appre­ci­ated the oppor­tu­nity to speak with these mental and behav­ioral health profes­sionals – to both under­stand their role as commu­nity providers and to engage them as a resource on behav­ioral health issues.

2019.02.08-WSNA-2019-Legislative-Update-Week-4

Funding for school nurses #

WSNA testi­fied in the Senate Early Learning & K‑12 Educa­tion Committee this morning on a bill that would update the proto­typ­ical school model to provide additional school nurses if funded in the state budget. WSNA encour­aged legis­la­tors to make this policy change, and to remember that school nurses in small, rural school districts are funded through the School Nurse Corps – so this policy update would only help larger school districts and the School Nurse Corps needs additional funding as well.

Please look for regular email updates on legisla­tive action as the legisla­tive session gets underway – we look forward to your partic­i­pa­tion in the process!