New hospital staffing committees must be established by Jan. 1

November 29, 2023

Senate Bill 5236,  a compromise bill that WSHA negotiated with labor unions to strengthen existing hospital staffing laws, requires all acute care hospitals to establish a hospital staffing committee by Jan. 1, 2024. Committees are to be comprised of 50 percent direct care nursing staff including RNs, LPNs, CNAs and unlicensed assistive nursing personnel selected by labor representatives if a collective bargaining agreement exists or employees if no CBA exists. The other 50 percent is comprised of management selected by hospital administration, including CFOs, CNOs, and department managers/directors (or their designees).

Optimizing staffing committees to ensure highly reliable processes is central to improving the health care staffing challenges in our state. Effective committees provide an opportunity for hospital leaders and frontline staff to work together to determine the solutions that work best for each hospital.

In addition to strengthening hospital staffing committees, the new hospital staffing law increased compliance reporting requirements and expanded meal and rest break laws.

WSHA will continue to share more detailed information, including requirements, key dates, implementation recommendations, and Q&As throughout the implementation process. Our goal is to provide hospital leadership with helpful resources to facilitate implementation of the law and support for your hospital staffing committees.

Please reach out to me if you have questions about the hospital staffing law or its implementation.


Gena Ahlawat
WSHA Director of Safety & Quality


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