Legislative priorities for 2017

January marks the beginning of the 2017-19 biennium and the start of the 2017 legislative session. In this first year of the biennium, the legislature will pass the two-year operating budget with continued pressure to fund K-12 education per the McCleary decision.


Our top issues

Nurse staffing

WSNA continues to focus on staffing as a top priority. We are working closely with the Washington State Health Care Authority on the implementation of hospital incentive payments based on select nursing quality outcome measures, and we continue to monitor compliance with the current nurse staffing law.

Rest breaks

WSNA is continuing our efforts on behalf of nurses and patients in the courts and with the Department of Labor &Industries to ensure that nurses and other health care workers receive uninterrupted rest breaks. 


Budget priorities

Public health funding

Support a new $60 million investment to fill critical gaps in core public health services, such as disease prevention and response – and support the design and implementation of shared services to modernize our state’s public health system. Find out more.

Student loan repayment program

Support an additional $9 million to the health profession loan repayment and scholarship program. Support additional funding for nurse educator salaries and nursing enrollment slots. Find out more.


Policy priorities

School nurse supervision

Clarifies what acts are considered registered nurse practice to be solely determined and carried out by a licensed registered nurse as defined by Washington law, such as the administration of medication as required by a treatment order or summoning emergency medical assistance. This does not prohibit a non-nurse from supervising a licensed registered nurse in a school with respect to matters other than the practice of nursing. Find out more.

Nurse Licensure Compact

WSNA remains concerned with major provisions of the compact. See WSNA Policy Paper on NLC for full details.

Balanced Billing (medical debt)

Ensure that consumers receiving care at an in-network facility are charged the in-network rate for out-of-network providers working in that facility. Find out more.

Take action:
Have you or your family had an experience with a surprise medical bill, based on treatment by an out-of-network provider in an in-network facility? If so, please share your story with us!

Address the opioid crisis

Support a statewide secure medicine return program and other efforts to address the opioid crisis, such as enhancements to the prescription drug monitoring program. Find out more.


Federal priorities

WSNA is an affiliate of both the American Nurses Association and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Learn more about federal priorities at their websites below.