WSNA’s priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session

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

We stay on top of issues and bills in that impact the nursing profes­sion, health care and collec­tive bargaining. Through regular updates and oppor­tu­ni­ties to partic­i­pate in the polit­ical process, WSNA helps nurses stay informed and have a say in the decisions that impact your practice.

Review our priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session.

2021 policy priorities #

Wa nurse transparency

Health system transparency: Lawmakers need more facts about hospital finances #

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the inner workings of hospi­tals across the country. Last spring, reports revealed that at the same time some hospi­tals and nonprofit health systems were laying off essen­tial workers, they continued building hedge funds in the billions. As the pandemic persists, it is becoming apparent that legis­la­tors and their commu­ni­ties deserve more insight into how our state’s hospi­tals are being run. Learn more…

Wa nurse leg priorities equity

Integrating equity and anti-racism into our legislative agenda #

Amid urgent calls for racial justice and a pandemic that has magni­fied and exposed inequities in the health care system, it is clear that the 2021 legisla­tive session must address systemic racism. The Washington State Nurses Associ­a­tion is collab­o­rating with other health care unions and the Washington State Labor Council to integrate an equity/anti-racist lens into our collec­tive legisla­tive work. Learn more…

Wa nurse worker protections

Worker Protection Act: Ensuring justice can be served #

Missed meal and rest breaks. Unpaid overtime. Falsi­fied timecards. This was the experi­ence of nurses working in the home care and hospice program at Yakima Regional Medical Center. As reported by the Associ­ated Press: The nurses said they were routinely denied overtime when they had to work more than eight hours per day, such as when a patient nearing death required additional atten­tion or when they had to finish paper­work or coordi­nate further care after a long shift. […] When they complained about having to work for free, they were told they could resign.” Learn more…

WSNA is working to improve enforcement of the Nurse Staffing Law #

Since 2019, WSNA has filed 22 complaints with the Washington State Department of Health for hospitals’ failure to follow aspects of the Nurse Staffing Law.

In 2017, the Washington State Legis­la­ture passed House Bill 1714, adding more struc­ture and oversight to the Nurse Staffing Law. The bill included a require­ment for the Washington State Depart­ment of Health (DOH) to submit a report to the legis­la­ture on Dec. 31, 2020. WSNA, along with SEIU Health­care 1199NW and UFCW 21, has been working to ensure that the report addresses key concerns from nurses about staffing commit­tees and hospital compli­ance with the law. Learn more…

Your voice is more essential than ever #

Wa nurse 2021 leg priorities

The legisla­tive session may look different this year, but one thing will remain the same: Your voice is essen­tial to the process! Nurses are the most trusted profes­sion, and your voice carries much credi­bility and weight with lawmakers. It is impor­tant that your legis­la­tors hear from you about your experi­ences on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Your voice is crucial as legis­la­tors make diffi­cult decisions about where to spend and where to cut govern­ment funding. Learn more…