Join me in helping us build a powerful nursing voice in Olympia

One of my goals as president is to re-establish a strong pro-nursing presence in our state capitol.

This story was published in the Spring-Summer 2024 issue of The Washington Nurse.

As I reflect on the recent legislative session, I am reminded of the need for a nursing voice at every level.

While WSNA was able to secure some legislative wins on issues related to school nurses, other priorities related to healthcare consolidation and restoring ARNP reimbursement parity did not make it through the process.

During the 2024 legislative session, I had the opportunity to spend a day in Olympia with our hardworking government affairs staff and provide testimony on behalf of WSNA on numerous bills. While I was proud to represent our profession in our state capitol, I also recognized that WSNA faces some structural challenges in trying to counter the narrative from other powerful groups that opposed our priorities.

It is true that nurses carry a significant amount of political capital as the largest and most trusted profession in the United States. Unfortunately, targeted campaigns from opposing groups with more financial resources to navigate our political system often win out in Olympia.

Over the past few sessions, we have seen fewer nurses represented in the state legislature, which directly impacts discussions behind closed doors. Additionally, some special interest groups representing hospitals leverage larger sums of money to influence elections. These efforts often counter our best attempts to achieve objectives such as safe staffing standards and meaningful transparency.

One of my goals as president is to re-establish a strong pro-nursing presence in our state capitol.

While I agree that the public perception of politics at the federal level has declined, our state-level politics more directly impacts our lives and our profession.

I recall a time when there were nine nurses in our legislature. These nurse legislators were described as a “powerful force” by five-term legislator Dawn Morrell, BSN, RN, CCRN. She served from 2002 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2014. Today, we have one former nurse.

One of the ways that we can collectively change the status quo is by becoming a recurring contributor to our political action committee, WSNA PAC. If every nurse in this state contributed just $5 per month, the WSNA PAC could raise $600,000 a year to support nurses in Olympia. With this backing, our ability to support nurses and pro-nursing candidates will grow exponentially.

Join me in helping us build a powerful nursing voice in Olympia once again! Donate to WSNA-PAC today.