The Need for Nurse Unity  

The 2018 Wisconsin Nursing Workforce reported that there are over 29 nursing specialty organizations in Wisconsin.  Decisions that impact the nursing workforce are often created in silos or without input from other nursing associations. Decisions can be enhanced when participants represent a diversity of practice roles, work settings, and cultural backgrounds.  Working and listening together utilizing a formal membership structure can improve nursing’s visibility, value, and voice.

Purpose:  The WNA Organizational Affiliate structure promotes professional nursing associations to work collectivity, using a dialogue and action strategy format, support of professional nursing practice, increase satisfaction in the practice environment, address the faculty shortage and leadership in defining the RN role and scope of practice today and the future.  

Description:The WNA Organizational Affiliate is comprised of Wisconsin-based professional nursing associations, informally bound to one another through exposure to a common set of problems and common pursuit of solutions.  WNA’s Organizational Affiliate structure is a way of developing social capital, nurturing new knowledge, stimulating innovation, sharing knowledge, and augmenting the assets the group brings. The Organizational Affiliate members view each other as professional colleagues. Their outputs can include best practice sharing and implementation, guidelines, knowledge repositories, technical problems and solution discussions, working papers, and strategies.  

Meetings:  Meetings consist of dialogue and development of reports or policy papers related to the identified issues and trends that impact nursing practice, education, research, workforce, and leadership.   

 Membership: Any Wisconsin-based nursing association is invited to join WNA’s Organizational Affiliate.  WNA Organizational Affiliate membership structure reflects ANA’s Organizational Affiliate. ANA’s membership is comprised of approximately 40 national nursing associations. 

Collaborative Work

WNA led the COVID Organizational Affiliate which provided opportunities for representatives from their nursing association to discuss the issues, provide information on the impact of COVID on the members of the various nursing associations, tools for managing and addressing well-being and a “Wear a Mask For You and For Us” campaign.

Current efforts are now focused on Wisconsin’s Nursing Shortage.  Approximately sixteen nursing associations, under the leadership of WNA through the Organizational Membership structure, are meeting regularly to provide nursing’s voice to addressing the nursing shortage.  Strategies include applying innovation and focusing on building a sustainable nursing workforce.