What a week! WSNA nurses were at the Capitol this week – advocating for nursing priorities and working families. On Thursday, nurses from around the state joined WSNA’s Lobby Day and spoke with their legislators on our priority issues.
Around the state, more than 800 qualified nursing school applicants are turned away each year. The primary reason? Vacant faculty positions mean there are not enough nurse educators to teach the courses, even though programs have available student slots.
It was a busy week of hearings in Olympia, with WSNA weighing in on many bills. We continued meeting with legislators about our priority issues, including funding for the School Nurse Corps. This week we are highlighting movement on our policy priority related to the need for a more uniform, but also community-based, response system for sexual assaults and making sure that the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners we represent are included in conversations that affect their work.
2020 Legislative Session Week 1 update The 2020 legislative session kicked off on Monday. It’s the second year of the biennium which means that it is a “short” 60-day session. New House Speaker Laurie Jinkins was sworn in on Monday – she is the first woman and first out lesbian Speaker of House. She is a strong advocate for access to health care, public health, as well as nursing and patient safety issues. Former Speaker Frank Chopp remains a member of the House of Representatives and is now sitting on several committees including House Health Care.
A friendly reminder from the WSNA-PAC Board that today, Tuesday, November 5, is Election Day – no postage is required to mail your ballot!
Attend an event in our Fall Leadership Series. Learn what you can do as a nurse to ensure successful implementation of new laws aimed at preventing workplace violence and protecting overtime and breaks for healthcare professionals.
A friendly reminder from the WSNA-PAC Board that Washington state’s Primary Election is Tuesday, August 6 – no postage is required to mail your ballot! The WSNA-PAC has endorsed candidates in two special election legislative races.
The state Department of Labor and Industries on April 11 cited and fined St. Joseph Medical Center Tacoma for safety violations related to a series of attacks on nurses at the hospital. L&I’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health launched an investigation at the request of WSNA after a patient in the psychiatric unit assaulted numerous nurses in October 2018.
As nurses across the country unite and advocate for their profession, St. Joseph’s Tacoma nurses are doing the same for themselves and their patients as they fight the good fight for safe staffing – and against incredibly unsafe, management mandated “alternative staffing.”
The collective voice of 4 million nurses have spoken, and they have been heard: the Washington state breaks and overtime protections bill has passed, without the bad amendments, and is on its way to the Governor. But we are not finished. We invite you to join us in our Facebook group #Beyondthecards in order to continue the momentum and nurse advocacy that has sustained the passage of our breaks and overtime protections bill.
As nurses around the country watch to see if Washington’s legislature will pass urgently needed breaks and overtime protections, we are reminded of the power nurses have owning our profession.
Senator states that nurses “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day” in amending rest breaks bill
In perhaps one of the most demeaning statements on the nursing profession since Joy Behar’s 2015 “doctor’s stethoscope” comments on The View, Washington State Senator Maureen Walsh proclaimed on the Senate floor that Critical Access Hospital nurses should be exempt from protections in mandatory overtime because they sit around and play cards most of the day.
Margarita López Prentice, former state legislator, longtime WSNA member and inductee in the Washington State Nurses Hall of Fame, passed away quietly in her sleep of natural causes at her home in Bryn Mawr-Skyway, Washington on April 2, 2019. She was 88 years old.
On Tuesday, the Senate released its budget.
The week started off with a flurry of activity as the House of Representatives released its biennial budget on Monday.
Our bills continue to move through the legislative process – and this week one of those bills was highlighted on TVW’s Legislative Review.
We are officially halfway through the 2019 legislative session!
It is irrefutable that when nurses do not get their breaks, patient care suffers. If you think nurses receiving the rest breaks they are entitled to is important to patient care, please: take action and send a note to your senator.
On Thursday, nurses from around the state converged in Olympia for WSNA Lobby Day.
Today is the first cutoff of the legislative session – meaning all policy bills must be voted out of the policy committee in their house of origin to keep moving through the process.
For the first time anyone can remember, all committee hearings were canceled on Monday due to snow.
Despite the snow earlier this week, things were busy in Olympia! Our government relations team has been busy meeting with legislators and testifying on various bills being heard in committee.
On Thursday, the Senate Labor Committee voted our Rest Breaks bill, SB 5190, out of committee.
The second week of the legislative session got off to a fast start! On Monday, both the House and Senate Labor Committees held hearings on our Rest Break bills, SB 5190 (Senate) and HB 1155 (House).