Biennial Report of Achievements

This story was published in the Spring-Summer 2021 issue of The Washington Nurse magazine.

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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

WSNA Presi­dent

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.

Public health

Health access #

Ensure equitable access to health services so that all people can attain their highest level of health and receive the right care by the appro­priate provider, in the right place, at an afford­able cost. More…

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Achieve safe nurse staffing in all settings to ensure health and optimize quality of care. More…

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Nursing practice #

Empower nurses to advocate, educate, promote, and protect the practice of nursing to colleagues, managers, and the broader commu­nity in order to practice to the full extent of their training, experi­ence and educa­tion in deliv­ering optimal care. More…

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Quality and safety #

Promote the adoption of effective behav­iors and practices that will positively impact the safety of regis­tered nurses and patients and lead to improved quality outcomes for all residents of Washington. More…

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Membership growth and engagement #

Remain the leading voice and advocate for the diverse regis­tered nurses who live and work in Washington state through continued member­ship growth and active member engage­ment. More…

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Occupational and environmental health #

Promote healthy and safe environ­ments for nurses, and environ­mental justice for all the commu­ni­ties nurses serve. More…

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Association vitality #

Strengthen WSNA’s opera­tion, program­matic infra­struc­ture and economic stability to ensure continued success by a diverse leader­ship and staff in advancing associ­a­tion prior­i­ties. More…