WSNA’s priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session

Nurse education funding, public health funding, school nurse funding, health system transparency, worker protections and workplace safety, and racial equity and justice.

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...