In 2017, our state legislature enacted House Bill 1714 regarding nurse staffing committees. The new law requires hospital to submit their staffing plan to the Washington State Department of Health by January 1, 2019. As required by HB 1714, hospital nurse staffing committees need to consider new elements when developing a staffing plan. Given the changes under the new law, the Washington State Hospital Association worked with SEIU 1199NW, UFCW 21, and the Washington State Nurses Association to develop a toolkit which provides hospitals a with useful resources and best practices. This toolkit has been broadly distributed to nurse leaders across the state.
The elements to be considered when developing a staffing plan include:
- Fiscal resources of the hospital,
- Support personnel for nurses, and
- Strategies to ensure nurses can take meal and rest breaks.
To ensure success under the new law, hospital staffing committees need relevant fiscal information related to personnel and other resources to help develop a staffing plan that address patient care needs and meets the fiscal capabilities of the hospital. Staffing Committees will need relevant fiscal information in advance of this submission date. Please make sure your financial department is working closely with your nurse staffing committee to comply with the new law. (Ian Corbridge, email@example.com)