Nurses week letter

Happy Nurses Month 2020! We honor the work you do. #

You make a differ­ence every day.

Today, we face an unprece­dented crisis as the COVID-19 pandemic tests every part of our society and culture.

Nurses like you have risen to the moment. Now more than ever it’s easy to see just how much of a differ­ence nurses make.

This was already meant to be a year uplifting the impor­tant differ­ence nurses make. In honor of the 200th birth anniver­sary of Florence Nightin­gale, 2020 was already estab­lished as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Here in Washington state, Gov. Inslee has proclaimed the month of May Nurses Month to recog­nize more than 100,000 regis­tered nurses who live and work in Washington and our unpar­al­leled impact on health and health care.”

We may not have known a global pandemic was looming, but when we finally have this virus under control it will be clear that this was the year the whole world saw clearly what a differ­ence nurses make.

And while we see that so clearly in the way nurses have stepped forward to save lives in the face of this pandemic, it’s far more than just that.

You make a differ­ence every day. From helping bring babies into the world to hospice care at the end of life, from the everyday work of checkups and vacci­na­tions to the emergen­cies we hope will never come.

WSNA has produced a short video to uplift the role you play and to thank you for the work you do — take a moment to watch it.

None of us has been through a crisis like this. At WSNA, we see your courage and resolve every day — fighting not just for your patients, but for one another, holding each other up with courage, strength, kindness and even humor as we work to stem the spread and limit the damage of this deadly virus.

WSNA has your back. We’re fighting to ensure you have the PPE you need to stay safe, and to win the hazard pay you’ve more than earned. We’re working to ensure those of you with risk factors have appro­priate options, and that no nurse is punished or penal­ized for advocating for themselves, their patients or their families. We’re lifting up your stories in the media, negoti­ating with employers, and demanding better from our elected leaders. We’re protecting your practice and answering your questions as this pandemic unfolds . You’ll find these answers and resources on our COVID-19 page.

There are no thanks suffi­cient to truly recog­nize the contri­bu­tion you make, but we will keep working day and night to help ensure you have voice on the job, fair pay and benefits, and the resources you need to keep yourselves safe while serving your patients.

From all of us to all of you, thank you.

Vehrs sig

Lynnette Vehrs
Presi­dent, Washington State Nurses Association

Watkins sig

Sally Watkins
Execu­tive Director, Washington State Nurses Association