Nursing, one of the most trusted and respected professions in the United States, has played a pivotal role in every health care crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out some of the best in us. But it has also brought to the forefront some of the worst inequities in healthcare.
Achieving health equity in our communities requires commitment and leadership. The number one recommendation in the recently released National Academy of Medicine report, The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity states;
“In 2021, all national nursing organizations should initiate work to develop a shared agenda for addressing social determinants of health and achieving health equity. This agenda should include explicit priorities across nursing practice, education, leadership, and health policy engagement.”
And their second recommendations states,
“By 2023, state and federal government agencies, health care and public health organizations, payers, and foundations should initiate substantive actions to enable the nursing workforce to address social determinants of health and health equity more comprehensively, regardless of practice setting.”
The World Health Organization defines the Social Determinants of Health as,
“…the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels.”
These conditions can account for up to 80% of a person’s health outcomes.
The Washington Center for Nursing (WCN) and the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) are committed to engaging the powerful influence of nurses in advancing health equity.
And together, we are teaming up to talk about ways nursing leaders are working to advance health equity in Washington State. And letting you know as nurse leaders and practitioners how you can plugin, too.
Featured nurse leaders
- Valorie Taylor, MultiCare Behavioral Health Network
- Sandra Riojas, Central Washington Family Medicine
- Megan Wilbert, International Community Health Services
- Jerome Mendóza Dayao, Harborview Hospital
- Kristen Swanson, Seattle University College of Nursing