Nurses display signs during an informational picket in Tacoma (1995)

Decade of stabilization and rebuilding #

The deter­mi­na­tion to keep WSNA alive and viable was evident among the leader­ship and members of WSNA. Following the raids, member­ship in WSNA dropped below 5,000. The 1990’s were about recovery, rebuilding and healing wounds. Other trade unions attempted additional raids, but were not successful. WSNA began the long, arduous process of rebuilding. This was an era of restruc­turing, down-sizing, right-sizing and re-engineering” in the health care industry. Cost-contain­ment was the name of the game. Layoffs occurred and support positions were elimi­nated, even as the complexity and acuity of patients grew. This led to many nurses leaving the profes­sion and sowed the seeds for the next nursing shortage. Yet nurses also were in increasing demand in the policy arena. WSNA members were invited to sit on many state boards and commis­sions, including the Commis­sion on Nursing Shortage, Long Term Care Commis­sion, Perinatal Steering Committee, Devel­op­mental Disabil­i­ties Council, Statewide Steering Committee on Adoles­cent Pregnancy/​Pregnancy Prevention/​Parenting, State Board of Health, Nursing Assis­tant Advisory Committee, Oversight Committee for Nursing Forgiv­able Loan Program and the Board of Regis­tered Nursing.


1990 #

  • Washington State Nurses Founda­tion is reactive.
  • Nurse Legisla­tive Day in Olympia attracts 450 regis­tered nurses and nursing students.
  • WSNA wins reimburse­ment dispute between King County Medical Blue Shield (KCMBS) and two WSNA members who are Advanced Regis­tered Nurse Practi­tioners. KCMBS agrees to reimburse the two ARNPs for their services and to reimburse all indepen­dently practicing nurses” (ARNPs) in the future.

1991 #

  • First Nursing Administration/​Education Summit is held under co-sponsor­ship WSNA, WONE (Washington Organi­za­tion of Nurse Execu­tives) and CNEWS (Council of Nurse Educa­tors of Washington State).
  • Rosa Franklin, WSNA Member, elected to Washington State Legislature.
  • The WSNA Health Care Access Task Force issues 8 position papers on health care reform issues and in 1993, WSNA reaffirms its position supporting compre­hen­sive Health Care Reform.
  • ANA and WSNA testify and Supreme Court rules to endorse the appro­pri­ate­ness of all-RN bargaining units.

1992 #

WSNA publishes Guide­lines for RNS in Giving, Accepting or Rejecting an Assignment.


1993 #

  • WSNA, in conjunc­tion with the Washington Associ­a­tion of Nurse Anesthetists and organized medicine, passes legis­la­tion autho­rizing nurse anesthetist practice in it’s current scope.
  • WSNA publishes Third Party Reimburse­ment for RNs in Washington state, the first booklet in the nation to explain federal and state payment systems for RNs.
  • WSNA condemns discrim­i­na­tion against gay and lesbian members of the military.
  • Public Health Nursing celebrates its 100th anniversary.

1994 #

  • WSNA supports recog­ni­tion of violence as a public health problem and the impor­tance of reducing violent behav­iors through educa­tion and treat­ment and supports legis­la­tion that would make an assault on a health care provider a Class C Felony.
  • WSNA responds to a request by the Alaska Nurses Associ­a­tion to assist with organizing and estab­lishing economic and general welfare programs. The result is one of the first Shared Services Agree­ments in the country.

1995 #

ANA/WSNA launches Every Patient Deserves a Nurse” media campaign.


1996 #

WSNA secures passage of whistle blower legis­la­tion to protect nurses.


1997 #

WSNA achieves passage of legis­la­tion that limits the use of the profes­sional title nurse” to RN or LPN.


1999 #

  • Imple­men­ta­tion of Nurse Delega­tion in Washington State Commu­nity Based Residen­tial Care Settings.
  • WSNA lobbies success­fully for specific funding in the state budget to improve nurses’ salaries in long term care.