Wage increase for state nurses vital to addressing hiring challenges

April 25, 2017

Story 

Allen Goodwin is concerned about the future of his profession and what it could mean for people who need health care.

Goodwin, a 57-year-old nursing care consultant for the state Department of Social and Health Services, works in an office where a majority of nurses are nearing retirement and in a field where a shortage of nurses will mean less comprehensive care for the agency’s low-income clients.

“The nursing force is aging,” Goodwin said. “We have trouble recruiting nurses because they can make more money in the private sector. They can earn overtime. … It’s just difficult to recruit nurses away from those higher paying jobs into what we do.”

To address the problem, the state has negotiated a targeted wage increase for its nurses. However, those pay increases for nurses and other state workers still require approval from the Legislature, which is working on a compromise on the 2017-19 budget. 

Although the governor’s and the House Democrats’ budgets include all of the state worker wage increases negotiated last summer, the Senate Republicans’ budget funds only a few of the proposed increases and does not include the pay increase for many state nurses.

Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.

Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136