Your voice is more essential than ever

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

Wa nurses essential advocates

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.

This year, nurses have faced extreme challenges — from lack of suffi­cient PPE and long delays for COVID-19 test results to the upending of your personal lives with remote school, closed child care and the fear of bringing COVID-19 home to family members. It is more crucial than ever that legis­la­tors know your stories.

Legis­la­tors will be deciding on critical issues relating to the nursing profes­sion, such as hospital trans­parency, worker protec­tion, public health funding and school nursing funding. We need you to share your stories. Lawmakers listen — and they want to help find solutions.

Three tools to help you advocate during this legislative session #

WSNA Action Alerts #

Watch for email alerts asking you to act on WSNA’s legisla­tive prior­i­ties. We only send these alerts when it is critical for lawmakers to hear from nurses at key moments during session — to move a bill out of committee or to encourage a floor vote. Please click on the Take Action” button in these emails!

You can also sign up to receive action alerts via text message. Look for this option when you click through to the Take Action” link in our action alert emails.

Legislative Hotline #

Call your legis­la­tors using the toll-free Legisla­tive Hotline: 1 – 800-562‑6000. You will connect with an operator who can deter­mine your legisla­tive district (using your home address) and connect you directly to your legis­la­tors’ offices. Your lawmaker’s legisla­tive assis­tant will answer the phone and can ensure your legis­lator is briefed on your concerns.

Attend WSNA Lobby Day (online event) #

Meet with your legis­la­tors during WSNA Lobby Day on Feb. 4, 2021. This event is free and will provide you with the training and tools you need to effec­tively advocate during small-group Zoom meetings with your lawmakers in the after­noon. This year’s Lobby Day will be online, allowing you to meet with your legis­la­tors while wearing pajama pants (we recom­mend wearing a nice top)!

Register to attend WSNA Lobby Day at wsna​.org. Legis­la­tors value seeing you during session (even if it is on their computer screen!), and it’s a good reminder why they should support our priority issues.

Which legislative district do I live in? #

Use your smartphone to look up your legislative district in two easy steps.

Both your legisla­tive district and congres­sional district will be displayed with links to your elected officials’ contact information.

  1. Visit https://​app​.leg​.wa​.gov/​d​i​s​t​rictfinder.
  2. Enter your home address.

WSNA’s priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session

WSNA is working to improve enforcement of the Nurse Staffing Law

Our experiences over the past two years have illustrated deficiencies in enforcement of the Nurse Staffing Law, and WSNA has filed 22 complaints with the DOH. We couldn’t have done it without the Assignment Despite Objection (ADO) forms our members filed to call out problems in their facilities.