Washington

The Washington Nursing Action Coalition leads the collaborative work in Washington State to transform health care through nursing. Major changes in nursing must occur. Our goal is a healthier population supported by a well-educated nursing workforce. Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action Dashboard Indicators: http://campaignforaction.org/dashboard

Features

Education

Nurses lead, provide, manage, teach and evaluate patient care; to provide the best care possible in our changing health care system, they must be well educated. We are working to ensure seamless and innovative educational pathways for better patient outcomes. 

Progress
Building on our established leadership in nursing education, we are working toward a seamless, effective, innovative, inviting, nursing education system that prepares nurses for the future.
 
A single set of pre-requisites for all community college nursing programs and a single completion degree (the Associates of Applied Science Transfer degree) took effect in 2012. We are currently studying potential for a nursing curriculum shared by all programs to reduce random variation and delays in a student’s educational journey.  A seamless pathway will encourage completion of a bachelor of science in nursing or higher degree, which provides skills in community health, leadership, care coordination and research.

Leadership

Encouraging nurses to build knowledge and competencies to realize their leadership capability is critical. Nurses must lead and influence change to be sure that patients receive the care and support they need.

Progress
Leadership encompasses knowledge, skills and attitudes; it is more than a role. This philosophy guides our work with staff nurses and emerging leaders.
 
Our leadership workshops for nurses focus on knowing oneself to become more effective in leading others. We are identifying ways to teach nurses how to take leadership roles in their communities and professional organizations. Until nurses believe themselves to be capable of leading publicly, and within nursing organizations, we cannot change the current image of nurses.

Practice

Organizational policies, procedures and beliefs currently limit nurses in their ability to use all of their knowledge and skills. This stems from misunderstandings about what nurses can legally do versus what their place of employment allows.

Progress
We have a tool for health care organizations to examine their policies, procedures and job descriptions regarding scope of practice for licensed practical nurses and registered nurses. 
 
With coalition co-lead the Washington Center for Nursing leading the way, our goal is to cause organizations to philosophically examine their own traditions and expectations of nursing roles. Once barriers are removed, we believe staff satisfaction will increase and financial outcomes will improve. Nurses are an expensive commodity that must be used wisely.
 

Interprofessional Collaboration

To ensure high quality, patient-centered care, nurses, physicians and other health professionals must collaborate in education and practice, and across all health care settings.

Progress

To foster collaboration, we are developing and deploying best practices in team/interprofessional practice models. We want nurses to practice according to their level of education and licensure to improve and transform health care. 

Diversity

Washington state’s population is becoming increasingly more diverse, and many residents have unique health care needs. The nursing workforce must evolve to reflect these changing dynamics.  

Progress

 

We believe creating diverse, inclusive educational and practice environments is an expectation, and strength, in all of our efforts, rather than a unique piece of work. We are working to welcome, recruit, support and nurture individuals from all backgrounds, to create a vibrant nursing workforce that mirrors the increasingly diverse population of our growing state. This approach challenges the usual thinking about “increasing diversity” as an activity or goal to be achieved and is thus more difficult. It does not mean erasing differences in people but honoring and understanding what is unique and why, and how those differences can help our healthcare system overall as well as the patients we serve individually.

 

See how economic and social conditions influence individual and group health.

 

 

 

Data

Effective deployment of the health care workforce requires information – data to tell us what kind of health providers we will need and with what skills. Yet major gaps exist in the workforce data we now have.

Progress

Data supports and is integral to all of our work. Its presence is a foundation and a reference point rather than a separate project. To that end, we promote data-driven policy decisions that improve health care for patients and families in Washington state.

 

leadership

Linda Tieman, Executive Director, Washington Center for Nursing

Amy Johnson, Strategic Consultant, Association of Washington Business

Send Message

join the conversation

learn

about progress in your state