WSNA nurses and our legislative champions worked tirelessly in the 2023 legislative session to try and pass universal, state-mandated, safe staffing standards. We passed a bill with increased reporting and accountability measures for hospitals — a huge victory for nurses. But we were unable to pass a version of the bill that contained state-mandated staffing standards.
Even though nurses have been the No. 1 most trusted profession in the country for 21 years in a row, they have not had the political power of hospitals. Currently, California and, soon, Oregon are the only states with enforceable staffing standards.
So, how was Oregon able to pass state-mandated staffing standards in their state legislature while it remains so difficult for others across the country to do the same? After conferring with the Oregon Nurses Association one of our biggest takeaways is that the Oregon Nurses Association has a strong, well-funded political action committee (PAC) at their disposal.
Having a PAC is one of the most influential things a group of individuals can do to further their political agendas. The money is used to fund candidates that support a group’s mission.
The WSNA Political Action Committee (WSNA PAC) has been around for some time but needs to be better funded. With fewer than 50 contributors each year, the PAC raises about $2,000. The Washington State Hospital Association, on the other hand, has a very powerful PAC with hundreds of thousands.
The mission of the WSNA PAC is to serve as the political voice for nursing in Washington state. The WSNA PAC is run by a board of trustees who are appointed by the WSNA Board of Directors. It is through the political action committee that members of WSNA can engage with and support candidates running for office. The WSNA PAC provides endorsements and, potentially, monetary support.
However, WSNA PAC is only strong if WSNA members choose to invest and grow the potential influence it could have on electing strong nursing advocates or even nurses themselves.
WSNA PAC is nonpartisan and relies almost entirely on voluntary contributions to support political candidates. Without those individual contributions, the WSNA PAC has no ability to invest in supporting those state legislative candidates who support nurses, or nurses who may want to run for state legislative office.
We need your contributions to WSNA PAC in order for it to grow, thrive, and be as strong as possible.
Donate TODAY and help grow the voice of nurses in Olympia with key decision makers. By investing in WSNA PAC, you invest in the future of nurses to help create and influence key policy decisions. Monthly or recurring contributions are the most effective way to support WSNA PAC.