All over Washington state, nurses are engaging with elected officials and candidates — advocating for themselves, their patients, the nursing profession, and candidates seeking public office who will make nursing and health issues a priority.
This is powerful. Today, more than ever, candidates are seeking endorsements from groups representing the pandemic’s heroes. Nurses and the WSNA-PAC are on the top of their lists.
Together, our involvement in these critical races and with our current elected officials is elevating our profession and our association. The Washington State Wire, an online news site covering Olympia and state politics, recently called WSNA “one of the state’s most productive advocacy organizations for their members in recent years.” That achievement only comes from thousands of nurses making phone calls, writing emails, showing up in Olympia, engaging on social media, donating to the WSNA-PAC and supporting candidates. Your actions build our collective power. We are one strong voice.
Each election cycle, the WSNA-PAC receives dozens of requests for endorsement. Why? Because candidates value the support of nurses, and WSNA-PAC’s endorsement sends a strong message to voters. WSNA-PAC supports candidates and incumbents who are strong on nursing and patient safety issues, regardless of political party affiliation.
Who better to make state-level health policy decisions than a nurse? Each year, the Washington State Legislature considers hundreds of health care bills — many of which directly impact patient safety, nursing scope of practice and licensure, and working conditions in our state’s health care facilities.
Nurses make outstanding lawmakers, and right now we don’t have enough of them. Trained in critical thinking, nurses have many of the necessary skills to quickly process information to make decisions. Of course, nurses also keep health at the forefront of policy decisions. If you are thinking about running for office, from school board to state legislature, taking these steps in advance will help you succeed.
In 2019, a coalition of parents, educators, medical professionals and advocates worked to pass a law in Washington state focused on keeping young people safe and healthy. The 2020 Legislature passed the proposal, ESSB 5395, after engagement with communities, parents and educators. Both the School Nurse Organization of Washington and WSNA supported this legislation.
As part of its endorsement process, the WSNA-PAC Board reviews the voting records of candidates currently serving in the Legislature. The legislator voting records are developed based on priority bills that WSNA supported during the state legislative sessions. Not all WSNA priority bills were voted on in both chambers, which is why the bill lists differ from Senate to House. As the voting records below indicate, most nursing issues have bipartisan support in Olympia.