Strategic priority — association vitality

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

This story appears in Biennial Report of Achievements.

Much of our work in this arena is behind the scenes: strength­ening opera­tions and infra­struc­ture. In 2020, the WSNA Board of Direc­tors added a focus on addressing issues of diver­sity, equity and inclu­sion in our organi­za­tion and our work.

Achievements #

  • WSNA Board of Direc­tors devel­oped a Resolu­tion and plan to address issues of diver­sity, equity and inclusion.
  • Moved forward with plan to create Regional Nurses Associations.

WSNA outlines plan to address systemic racism and health equity #

Kneel with not on 1

As for so many organi­za­tions across the country, the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 and the ensuing demon­stra­tions across the country were a wake-up call for WSNA that we needed to step up our efforts to address racism as a public health threat. WSNA published strong state­ments about the need to address systemic racism and pledged to look inward at becoming a more anti-racist organi­za­tion — while also looking outward to support initia­tives to reduce the health inequities that infect our health care system.

We have held train­ings on racism and microag­gres­sions with WSNA staff and board members and are working to infuse all of our work with diver­sity, equity and inclu­sion principles.

A key objec­tive estab­lished by the WSNA Board of Direc­tors was to produce the Resolu­tion being put forward at the 2021 Washington State Nurses Conven­tion. The resolu­tion sets forth specific actions WSNA will take to put the Board’s commit­ment to addressing racial justice and health dispar­i­ties into action.

2104 wa nurse breathe

On May 31, 2020, WSNA posted a state­ment on social media to stand in solidarity with those calling for justice, to call out racism as a public health crisis and call on our profes­sion to examine the myriad ways racism manifests itself in our health care system.

Our Facebook post reached more than 100,000 people and was shared more than 900 times.

2104 wa nurse 200606 harborview 21

On June 5, 2020, with a peaceful protest by health care workers planned in Seattle for the following day, WSNA’s presi­dent and chair of the Cabinet on Economic and General Welfare issued a joint letter to our members supporting efforts led by Black organi­za­tions to protest systemic racism and bring atten­tion to racism as a public health emergency.

Move to regional nurses associations continues #

In 2018, the WSNA Board of Direc­tors approved a plan to create Regional Nurses Associ­a­tions, combining multiple existing WSNA Districts to better meet the needs of members. These profes­sional organi­za­tions are supported by a portion of member­ship dues and are intended to provide educa­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties, schol­ar­ships and networking on a local level. Over the past two years, the transi­tion to regional nurses associ­a­tions has progressed, with one region completing the transi­tion and another two well on their way.

Rainier Olympic Nurses Associ­a­tion
The former Pierce County Nurses Associ­a­tion has a new name, recog­nizing the scope of the region that now spans seven counties: Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, Mason, Grays Harbor, Jefferson and Clallam.

South­west Region Nurses Associ­a­tion
Encom­passing Clark, Cowlitz, Lewis, Pacific, Skamania and Wahki­akum counties, the South­west Region Nurses Associ­a­tion has completed paper­work and welcomed a founding Board of Direc­tors. Elections are planned for fall 2021.

Central Washington Region Nurses Associ­a­tion
Plans for the central region, encom­passing Kittitas and Yakima counties, are well underway. The new regional associ­a­tion is now regis­tered in the State of Washington and has applied for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status with the IRS as this biennial report goes to press. Founding board members are building the founda­tion, with a goal of electing the new board in 2021.

Biennial Report of Achievements

Strategic priority - quality and safety

At its core, our work is about promoting behaviors and practices that positively impact the safety of registered nurses and patients and lead to improved quality outcomes for all residents of Washington. After the coronavirus pandemic hit our state, much of our focus was on ensuring the safety of nurses and their patients.

Strategic priority - nursing practice

As the professional association for more than 100,000 registered nurses who live and work in Washington state, we are always working to advance nursing practice and ensure nurses’ ability to practice to the full extent of their training and education.