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2021 Biennial Member 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.