Jan 08, 2018

Engaging Washington State Nurses to Achieve Healthier Populations

In Collaboration with: Katie Eilers, MPH, MSN, RN and Sofia Aragon, JD, BSN, RN

Problem Statement: The Washington Nursing Action Coalition (WNAC) is committed to engaging nurses, the largest segment of the healthcare workforce in the state, as leaders in health care reform.

Approach: WNAC surveyed all Washington nurses. As evident by survey results, nurses are interested in learning more about health care reform strategies in our state and the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health framework, which emphasizes the role of social determinants and environmental influences on the health of Washingtonians.  This presentation will highlight the methods employed by WNAC to engage nurses to apply a Culture of Health framework in their work and participate in Healthier Washington (the state plan to address health care reform), through a variety of nurse engagement strategies.

Products/Outcome: These include a resources Webpage and toolkit, conference presentations, and a short film highlighting the work of nurses and inter-professional teams addressing the social and environmental determinants.

Implications: Nurses possess a unique skill set and opportunities to lead reforms in public health and health care so that social determinants and environmental influences on health receive attention and action. The survey developed by Washington to gauge nurse interest and the engagement methods created can be adapted and replicated by nurse leaders in other states and communities. All nurses should incorporate social justice concepts in working with vulnerable populations by addressing the social and environmental determinants of health.