We have a big tent that welcomes all nurses

When we grow our membership and diversify it, we strengthen the voice we bring to all discussions.

This story was published in the Winter 2024 issue of The Washington Nurse.

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As the president of WSNA, I want to thank you for your membership and remind us why being part of WSNA is so critical.

WSNA is a community of nurses that come from very different backgrounds and work in different work settings.

WSNA is both a union and a professional association. As a professional association, WSNA represents all nurses, regardless of what union they belong to or if they, like me, are not in a union.

WSNA is one organization, but we have a big tent that welcomes all nurses. We speak for the profession as a whole — whether it’s in Olympia, in the workplace, or when we are speaking on broader issues.

We all learn from each other. We are stronger together. When we grow our membership and diversify it, we strengthen the voice we bring to all discussions.

Our collective bargaining units make our individual members stronger, and our individual members strengthen our collective bargaining units.

As an individual member, the benefits of membership in WSNA are far more valuable than I expected. I didn’t realize the lasting connections I would make to colleagues across the state. Being part of WSNA, I’m also building connections with colleagues in other states.

This membership has allowed me to be part of a greater community outside of my work. Being part of WSNA has also helped me at work because I can learn much more from nurses working in other settings in other parts of the state.

That networking ability — the ability to connect and learn from other people, and learn about issues that affect healthcare in general — has made a big impact on my career and my perspective as a healthcare provider.

Our profession faces a critical moment. There are many issues facing nurses and care delivery. If we don’t address our staffing crisis, the healthcare system will fail to meet the needs of our patients. The more we are aware of and become involved in these issues, the more we can influence these issues for the better.