Legislative update for respiratory care practitioners

June 10, 2021

During the 2021 state legislative session, policymakers passed a bill making adjustments to the scope of practice for respiratory care practitioners, which may be of interest to hospitals and health systems. This legislation, SHB 1383, sponsored by Rep. Jamila Taylor (D-Federal Way), modifies the licensing, supervision and scope of practice for respiratory care practitioners (RCP).

Specifically, SHB 1383 changes the scope of practice for a RCP to include disease prevention, administration of nitrous oxide for analgesia (with direct supervision), medications administered via nebulizer and cardiopulmonary stress testing including administration of medications used during this testing. The legislation also makes adjustments to licensing requirements, authorizes RCPs to provide services through telemedicine, and contemplates how a health care practitioner may give orders may be given to a RCP.

The new law also provides a definition for “direct supervision” under RCW 18.89.020. WSHA remained neutral on the legislation and closely monitored the bill’s progress through the legislative process. The legislation passed unanimously out of both the House and Senate and will be effective on July 1, 2022.


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