As for so many people and organizations, WSNA’s work over the past two years can be effectively divided into “Before COVID” and “After COVID.” We entered the 2019 – 2021 Biennium with a robust list of activities to support the strategic priorities of WSNA. Then COVID-19 hit, overwhelming our nurses, hospitals and communities, and much of WSNA’s focus quickly shifted to supporting our members facing a historic pandemic.
We pushed public officials for proclamations, directives and policies to protect and support nurses. We negotiated with employers for Memorandums of Understanding to address the extreme impact of COVID-19. We shared the latest research and guidance on safety and nursing practice. We held employers accountable for workplace and patient safety standards. But for all that WSNA staff did, it was really you, our nurses — in Washington, across the country and throughout the world — who did the hard work of showing up and caring for patients and their families through the uncertainty, fear and heartache of an unknown and devastating virus.
Before and throughout the pandemic, WSNA continued our work on the Strategic Priorities approved by our Board of Directors in 2019. In this Biennial Report of Achievements, you’ll read about our work to implement landmark 2019 laws on preventing workplace violence and on rest breaks and mandatory overtime protections. You’ll see how we joined with other unions in Washington state in an unprecedented campaign to win fair contracts across the Providence system. You’ll learn about our work to shine a light on the myriad roles and unique challenges faced by nurses working in long-term and community care settings. You’ll also read about our efforts to highlight racism as a public health threat and develop diversity, equity and inclusion knowledge and strategies within our organization.
We did all of this together, and together we will get through the COVID-19 crisis and continue our work to improve the professional development, safety and working conditions of nurses across our state.
Lynnette Vehrs, MN, RN
Sally Watkins, PhD, RN
WSNA Executive Director
In 2019, the Washington State Nurses Association Board of Directors approved seven strategic priorities to focus the work of the association on areas of greatest importance to registered nurses and the organization. Within those priorities, WSNA staff developed specific goals and action steps and reported back to the Board on a regular basis.
Achieve safe nurse staffing in all settings to ensure health and optimize quality of care. More…