Nursing practice quality and safety

Empower nurses to lead, advocate, educate, promote, and protect the scope of practice of nursing to practice to the full extent of their training, education, and licensure to deliver optimal care. Promote the adoption of effective behaviors and evidence-based practices that will positively impact the health and safety of registered nurses and patients and lead to improved health and quality outcomes for all residents of Washington.

This story appears in 2021 to 2023 biennial report.

Educated on the criminalization of medical error and the Radonda Vaught case. WSNA Director of Nursing Practice Gloria Brigham, EdD, MN, RN, and labor counsel Pamela Chandran collaboratively developed and provided continuing nursing education for a variety of audiences, including WSNA Leadership Conference, an Health Professionals and Allied Employees webinar, the AFT Professional Issues Conference, the AFT Lawyers Conference, the Washington Patient Safety Coalition, the New Jersey Nurses Union, and others.

Developed resources to clarify the process to file a complaint with the Washington Department of Health (patient safety) and the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (worker safety). This included written instructions and recorded information.

Provided consultation on patient and worker safety issues. Filed complaints with regulatory agencies.

Updated resource on accessing staffing plans from the Washington Department of Health website and checklist for compliance with the staffing law.

Provided written resources and education on serious adverse event identification and response.

Created job aids and provided education / consultation on: Supervision of Registered Nurses, Presumptive Eligibility, Patient Assignment Considerations (2), Surge Capacity, Compromised Bed Reporting Tips, Washington Workplace Violence Law, Tips for All Person Safety and Care Quality, Climate Change, Monkey Pox, and Safety Week: General Safety Tips.

Provided consultation on legal and regulatory topics related to registered nurse practice.

Published learning management system module on cultural humility.

Outreach to nursing students

WSNA is a professional member of the Council of Nursing Education in Washington State (CNEWS), which includes the deans and directors of all nursing programs in Washington.

WSNA is represented on the council by our Executive Director David Keepnews and Education Director Megan Kilpatrick.

CNEWS meets twice a year to discuss issues relevant to nursing education and work together to strengthen the accessibility, equity, and quality of nursing education in Washington state.

Outside of CNEWS, WSNA’s major engagement with schools of nursing is through Advocacy Camp, an educational event designed for nursing students that focuses on political advocacy in healthcare.

Offered virtually since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and featuring a fun mix of videos, keynote speakers, and panel discussions, this event continues to be popular with nursing students across the state.

The pandemic significantly upended nursing education, and the Nursing Students of Washington State (NSWS) convention moved to a virtual format in 2020 and remained virtual in 2021 and 2022.

School chapters faced varied challenges during the acute phase of COVID-19; some chapters flourished while others paused their activities. In addition, 2022-2023 is proving to be a rebuilding year for NSWS, with a focus on supporting school chapters, encouraging involvement in NSWS and the National Student Nurses Association, and supporting student leaders across the state. NSWS planned an in-person convention in spring 2023. State advisors include Megan Kilpatrick, WSNA Education Director, and Dr. Wendy Blakely from Heritage University.

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Gloria Brigham delivers an education session on criminalization of medical errors at WSNA’s Union Leadership Conference, April 25, 2022.

Continuing nursing education

WSNA offers continuing nursing education contact hours on our learning management system. This is free for our members and easily accessed on WSNA.org. Click on the Online Continuing Education button to sign up and access resources to enhance your professional career and competency.

DEI spotlight: cultural humility

In spring 2022, WSNA published a module that addresses cultural humility in healthcare. This course provides an overview of cultural humility and its interrelatedness with concepts such as social determinants of health, health disparities, cultural competency, implicit biases, and privilege. Methods for integrating cultural humility in nursing care are provided, and a case study is discussed to support identification of practices that the registered nurse could adopt to increase cultural humility in the professional practice environment.

This module was developed by a University of Washington Master of Nursing student in collaboration with WSNA Nursing practice and Education staff. This complements an earlier learning module that addresses mitigating implicit bias in the professional practice environment.

Workplace violence prevention

Workplace violence continues to rise in healthcare entities across the nation. In 2019, Washington state passed a new workplace violence prevention law, improving upon prior legislation. Education sessions and written information were provided to inform registered nurses of these changes and expectations for healthcare facilities.

A survey was conducted in spring 2021 that revealed that the 2019 Workplace Violence Prevention laws were not fully implemented in healthcare facilities and registered nurses lacked knowledge of the law. In summer 2021, WSNA collaborated with three UWB Master of Nursing students to develop a module that includes requirements of the 2019 law. This module complements an earlier module that offers practical suggestions to support workplace violence prevention.

This spring, in response to a fatal event of workplace violence in Spokane, Washington, and a steady increase in healthcare workplace violence, an article (developed by Nursing Practice/Education) is published in the Washington Nurse. This article provides an overview of healthcare workplace violence laws and regulations and current data, with a focus on the specifics of the 2019 Washington state workplace violence law. Included are opportunities to reflect upon safety in the professional practice environment and actions to consider when faced with a workplace violence on-the-job injury. This article offers 1.0 CNE contact hour. This article complements two related workplace violence prevention learning modules on the WSNA learning management system.