Future of Nursing 2020: Report card for Washington State Goals, Accomplishments and Highlights | May 11, 2021

FON Goal: Effective workforce planning and policy-making require better data collection and an improved information infrastructure.

Since 2006, WCN worked with workforce research experts to use or test a variety of survey methods to capture these characteristics of nurses, including traditional sample surveys to electronic collection of data through the licensure process. By 2020, supply data reflects elements from a nationally recognized survey.

Here are some examples of better data that we now have:

Example #1: Where Nurses Work

Nursing workforce data is used to inform policy. For example, this data shows registered nurse distribution in the areas of public health, community health (including school health), and long term care to be significantly lagging in proportion to hospital nursing positions. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that a more robust community health nursing workforce is needed. This data can be used to inform the investment of new dollars towards strengthening the nursing workforce where there are gaps.

Example #2: Key Characteristics of Practicing Nurses

Supply data now includes demographics, educational attainment, and practice.

This work continues to evolve and WCN is working with the Department of Health, the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, and workforce research experts to collect data through the Department of Health HELMS electronic licensure system for health professions in WA State, scheduled to go live in July of 2022.

FON Goal: Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless progression

The goal is two-fold: to have 80% of nurses attain a bachelor's degree or higher in nursing by 2020 and to promote seamless academic progression. The information below show how the Direct Transfer Agreement and other strategies moved Washington towards this goal.

The BSN is foundational to nursing roles such as nurse practitioner, public health nurse, community health nursing roles, nurse educator, and nursing leadership. Employers also recognize the BSN's role in facilitating a nurse's understanding of cultural, political, economic, and social issues that impact the health care delivery system.

How More Nurses are Attaining a BSN in Washington

Seamless Academic Progression: More Community Colleges are Offering the DTA or awarding a Baccalaureate degree in Nursing

FON Goal: Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training

More States Joined Washington to Remove Practice Barriers for Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners

Washington achieved full practice authority in 2005.

We have better data on ARNP roles and additional certifications earned

FON Goal: Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health professionals in redesigning health care in the US

Integrating social determinants in nursing care is key to health care transformation efforts and improving health outcomes. Through the Leadership Washington Nursing Action Coalition, WCN provides education and tools for nurses on how to integrate health equity and the social determinants of health in nursing practice.

Social Determinants of Health have More Impact than Clinical Care

SDOH Awareness Increases After Video Release

The 10,000 Nurses on Boards Campaign: Encouraging Nurses to Lead Through Board Service

WCN promoted board opportunities through social media and other networks. With a NOBC goal of 158 WA nurses serving on boards by 2020, WA successfully surpassed this number in August of 2020 with 164 WA nurses serving on boards.

FON Goal: Increase the diversity of the nursing workforce

The WCN is committed to increasing diversity in Washington State’s nursing workforce to address health needs of the diverse communities who live here and to correct existing health disparities. Promoting diversity, including gender, race, and ethnic diversity, in the profession to better represent the patient population it serves has been imperative to the nursing profession for many years. We need nurses with diverse perspectives and experiences to help drive health transformation.

Race and Ethnic Diversity by Licensure Type

  • LPNs have proportionately more Black/African American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander nurses than the general state population
  • RNs are more aligned with the diversity of the state
  • ARNPs are less diverse than LPNs and RNs

Our State and the Nation are Growing More Diverse

How Nursing Students and Faculty Diversity Compare to Washington's General Population

WCN encourages communities of color to chose nursing as a career

BSN or Higher Attainment by Race and Ethnicity

Nurses of color are not less likely to earn a BSN compared to white nurses with the exception of Native Americans and Hispanic or Latino Nurses.

So You Want to Be a Professor Workshops Participants: Increasing Diversity Among Future Nurse Educators

The WCN Diversity Advisory Committee collaborates to create a nursing workforce that values and even celebrates the many beautiful representations among us as the heart of an anti-racist health care system.

Goal: The Road to the Future of Nursing 2030: The Role of Nursing in Health Equity

The following are examples of projects supported by WCN, the Leadership Action Coalition, and other partners to address social determinants of health (SDOH) and advance health equity. These projects were supported in part by Nursing Innovation Grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Example #1: Linking Screening for Social Determinants of Health by Nurses and Healthcare Teams to Improved Outcomes

WCN recently collaborated with Virginia Mason Franciscan Health in Seattle for a systematic approach to social determinants of health screening of patients and track performance towards improved health outcomes. Social risk factors of patients were identified at the point of care and gave the nurses and hospital staff the opportunity to coordinate social services or resources to support the patient. The staff discovered that patients shared more information with the use of the SDOH screening tool, even when staff had an established relationship with the patient. Examples are inability to pay for medication or needed transportation for their appointments.

The confidence and comfort level of hospital staff increased after the development of tools, resources, and trainings aimed at strengthening staff skills to lead SDOH conversations and support patients. The result is preliminary data such as potential shorter length of stay with early interventions.

This project is being led by Alison Bradywood, DNP, MPH, RN-NEA-BC Senior Director of Clinical Practice, Professional Development, and Quality at Virginia Mason and Co-Chair of the WA Nursing Leadership Action Coalition.

Example #2: Culturally Tailored Care to Protect Elders Against Social Isolation during COVID-19

The Leadership WNAC strongly supported WCN's partnership with Bayanihan King County to apply for a Campaign for Action Nursing Innovation Fund grant to provide COVID-19 response support to isolated Filipino seniors. This project is led by a Filipina nurse practitioner and Assistant Professor at the Seattle University College of Nursing: Therry Eparwa, DNP, MSN, RN, FNP-BC. She worked with other Filipino leaders in medicine, social services, and business. Like other local chapters, the King County chapter of Bayanihan Response is community-centered and tailors interventions based on the specific needs of their community.

Key components include bilingual volunteers providing weekly phone check-ins with elders who are members of the International Drop-In Center: Filipino Senior & Family Services (IDIC) in Seattle, a weekly grocery and meal delivery program that serves 150 elders, and a community wellness survey and focus groups to understand how COVID-19 has impacted community members. The survey and focus groups will inform the newly created Filipino Community Health Board.

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) launched the Bayanihan Response to COVID-19, which is part of a national health and wellness campaign to respond to the immediate and long-term needs of impacted Filipino communities in the United States and the Philippines.

Example #3: Growing Public Health Nurse Leaders and Amplifying Voices of Nurses from Underrepresented Communities

The Washington Leadership Nursing Action Coalition, with a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Public Health Nurse Leaders grant, embarked on a series of projects to increase leadership among nurses with regards to addressing the SDOH. These initiatives were in part funded by a RWJF Public Health Nurse Leaders grant to obtain information and develop tools with practicing nurses about how to incorporate the social determinants of health into nursing practice.

This included multi-media education on the SDOH efforts shown to significantly increase nurses’ knowledge of SDOH, including a video, A Healthier Washington Starts with Nurses, co-produced with the Washington State Health Care Authority, the state’s largest public health care purchaser. In addition, toolkits are available on the WCN website.

WCN staff held focus groups across the state of Washington, engaging about 300 practicing nurses in both rural and urban areas. This experience resulted in a toolkit to support nurses and the following article submitted for publication: “Addressing Social Determinants of Health at the Point of Care in Washington State: Centering the Voices of Underrepresented Nurses.” The focus of the manuscript is to examine how patient social needs are addressed at the point of care as well as barriers and facilitators in doing so in Washington State using the voices of underrepresented nurses to structure the production of this knowledge as an anti-racist research strategy. These findings will be of interest to the broad base of healthcare and public health professionals given systems-driven inequities and growing calls to diversify the healthcare workforce. These findings highlight how centering underrepresented voices in healthcare identifies new priorities and solutions to addressing health disparities, especially at the point of care. The Washington Leadership Action Coalition worked with Dr. Wendy E. Barrington, PhD, MPH, an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Thank you to our collaborators!

WCN is proud to be part of Washington’s nursing community and committed to building a diverse, highly qualified nursing workforce in Washington together with you!

The following is a list of collaborating organizations that helped Washington make progress towards Future of Nursing 2020 Goals. WCN looks forward to continued partnership for the Future of Nursing 2030.

Thank you to the following organizations whose representatives serve on the WCN Board of Directors:

  • Council on Nursing Education in WA State
  • Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization (Representing Multicultural Nurses Organizations)
  • Northwest Organization of Nurse Leaders
  • SEIU Healthcare 1199NW
  • UFCW 141 United Nurses Union
  • Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA)

Thank you to the following collaborative organizations who have worked with WCN on Future of Nursing efforts:

  • American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN)
  • ARNPs United of Washington State
  • Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
  • American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Center to Champion Nursing in America at the Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Ebony Nurses of Tacoma
  • Filipino Nurses and Professional Health Care Professionals Association
  • Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA)
  • LeadingAge Washington
  • Leadership Washington Nursing Action Coalition (Leadership WNAC)
  • Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Organization
  • National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON USA)
  • National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)
  • National Education Progression in Nursing collaborative (NEPIN)
  • National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers
  • National Nurses on Boards Coalition (NOBC)
  • Nursing Students of Washington State (NSWS)
  • Organization for Associate Degree Nurses (OADN)
  • Pacific Northwest Chinese Nurses Association (PCNA)
  • Philippine Nurses Association of Oregon and Washington
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)
  • Samoan Nurses Organization in Washington
  • School Nurse Organization of Washington (SNOW)
  • State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC)
  • Washington Association of Nurse Anesthetists
  • Washington Chapter of the American College of Nurse Midwives
  • Washington Chapter of The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Washington Chapter of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
  • Washington Health Care Association (WHACA)
  • Washington State Council of Presidents (COP)
  • Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC)
  • Washington State Department of Health (DOH)
  • Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA)
  • Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC)
  • Washington State Public Health Association (WSPHA)
  • Washington State Student Achievement Council (WSAC)
  • Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA)
  • Washington State Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTECB)
  • Western Washington Chapter of the National Hispanic Nurses Association
  • WCN Diversity Advisory Committee
  • University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies (UW-CHWS)


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