Washington welcomes National Academy of Medicine delegation studying the future of nursing

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

By HCA Director Sue Birch

Washington is leading the way in building a health care system focused on the whole person. That means integrated treatment of both mind and body, and paying careful attention to the things that influence health, like housing, employment, nutrition, and education.

And in our state, nurses are helping lead this charge, at both the policy and clinical levels. Agency leaders, legislators, academics and care providers: That’s the diversity of today’s nursing profession.

It’s no surprise the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has chosen Washington as one of the states they’re looking at for a study on the future of nursing. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this study will offer insights into how nurses can lead the way in addressing the social determinants of health and ensuring more equitable health care no matter a person’s circumstances.

I’m proud to welcome the NAM team to Washington this week, where they will visit some of the many innovative ways nurses are building a culture of health around our state and convene a Future of Nursing 2030 Seattle Town Hall on Aug. 7.

I will join Rep. Eileen Cody, HCA State Medicaid Director MaryAnne Lindeblad and leaders from the University of Washington School of Nursing, SEIU 1199NW, Public Health—Seattle & King County and others in kicking off this site visit by talking about the ways nurses get things done here in Washington and around the country.

Nurses are educated to think about the many factors shaping a patient’s life, and to connect people with the supports they need to live their healthiest life. I am excited by this study to examine how nurses already support whole-person health, and to identify emerging ways nurses can lead health transformation.