Washington Center for Nursing Programs
Participate in school and adult career events to promote nursing to multiple populations as a desirable career that makes a difference in peoples' lives and changes the lives of nurses themselves by advancing their education, economic status, and career satisfaction. Provide "Be a Nurse" brochures in several languages, free.
Collaborate with all schools of education to transform nursing education into a streamlined, affordable, navigable, progressive system that attracts and retains the best students and faculty, who are representative of our increasingly diverse population.
Collect, analyze and publish data for stakeholders and the public on our nursing population, distribution of nurses, educational levels, impacts that nurses have on our populations' lives, educational changes, and how we compare to other states.
Collaborate with employers and professional organizations to ensure work environments attract and retain a diverse nursing workforce that provides safe, quality care and finds professional satisfaction in the work.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Master Plan for Nursing Education is in its fifth year, having moved from an idea to a formal plan to transform nursing education in our state. We are seeing changes in the Community College programs towards a common curriculum in all schools, reduction of variation in admission requirements, and similar work being done at the Baccalaureate schools into which Community Colleges transfer. We are recognized as being ahead of the curve in this work in relationship to the recently-released Institute of Medicine Recommendations on Nursing in America. We expect continued progress in this area.
A critical need for WCN is to have staff to focus on strategies to increase the diversity of our nursing student, nursing, and nursing faculty populations. We do not mirror the diversity of our general population, which adds to healthcare disparities affecting many individuals, and the overall health of our state. We need to understand the barriers to nursing education and nursing employment for diverse individuals, the enablers for same, strategies that have been successful in other states equally diverse, and to measure the outcomes of our work. We need to expand the cultural competence of our current nursing and nursing faculty workforce, and again, bring in best practices from other states. Without the resources (staff) to focus on this important area, we continue to fall behind where we could be in recruiting and retaining a culturally richer nursing population.