2021 Biennial Member Survey

This story was published in the Fall 2021 issue of The Washington Nurse magazine.

21 wa nurse fall survey

In February, we asked you to partic­i­pate in a survey to identify ongoing areas of oppor­tu­nity, improve­ment and focus for WSNA in the 2021 – 2023 biennium. This survey, called the 2021 Biennial Member Survey, consisted of 17 multiple-choice questions and an open-ended space for nurses to submit questions or comments. Survey results were shared with our new Board of Direc­tors in August to help inform their decisions about WSNA’s areas of focus in the coming biennium.

Six hundred seventy-five members completed the Biennial Member Survey, with the majority being from King County, the North­west Region and the Rainier Olympic Region. 85% of survey respon­dents reported they worked in acute care. The majority of respon­dents (39%) said they have been nurses for more than 20 years.

Here’s what you told us about the most impor­tant issues.

Similar to survey results from the 2019 biennial survey (then called the 2019 Pre-Conven­tion Survey), staffing law compli­ance continues to be the most impor­tant workplace-related issue among members. This comes as no surprise — as the coron­avirus pandemic has exacer­bated staffing issues across facil­i­ties throughout the state. Rest and meal breaks, as well as COVID-19, rounded out the top three issues identi­fied by survey respondents.

Survey respon­dents identi­fied the top three greatest challenges facing the nursing profes­sion over the next 5 – 10 years as corpo­rate influ­ence in health care, nursing staffing and nursing shortage.

We asked you to select three issues you felt WSNA should take a more active role in for the coming biennium. The top three issues identi­fied by respon­dents were workplace safety, health care for all and racial/​health equity.

Screen Shot 2021 10 04 at 3 15 35 PM

The majority of respon­dents said WSNA is above average in meeting its organi­za­tional goals. These goals, as well as more infor­ma­tion about WSNA’s strategic prior­i­ties and objec­tives, can be found on wsna​.org/about.

The majority of respon­dents agreed that WSNA effec­tively advocates for and commu­ni­cates with members.

We asked which activ­i­ties would help you become more active in your commu­nity districts and regions. The top two activ­i­ties identi­fied were: engaging in free commu­nity clinics or working with people experi­encing homeless­ness, and volun­teer activ­i­ties like disaster prepared­ness.

Many respon­dents also utilized the oppor­tu­nity to provide comments or feedback. A few of the comments submitted include:

We’re so overworked and so underpaid!”

My unit is strug­gling to retain nurses with the allure of high-paying travel contracts. […] Many of my coworkers and I are at a loss as to why our hospi­tals can afford to pay traveling nurses thousands of dollars a week (and I do not think that traveling nurses are villains in this scenario), but cannot afford to increase their core staff’s pay, which would likely lead to less of a need for staffing with traveling nurses and overall money saved.”

I feel COVID has made our members less engaged.”

Thank you to all of you who completed the 2021 Biennial Member Survey. Your voice is an essen­tial part of how we operate, and your answers play a role in guiding the future of WSNA.