December 19, 2019

To:                 Chief Nursing Officers, Chief Human Resources Officers, Legal Counsel, and
                       Government Affairs Staff

From:            Lauren McDonald | Policy Director, Health Access
             | (206) 577-1821

Subject:        NEW TOOL AVAILABLE:


To distribute a new pamphlet that the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) has developed to help support hospital leaders and nurse managers in implementing and ensuring success under Washington’s uninterrupted breaks and on-call staffing law. The pamphlet is meant to be distributed to impacted hospital staff by managers.

WSHA heavily negotiated this staffing bill to narrow the scope and burden imposed on hospitals. This said, staff impacted by the new law may have questions or frustration with the new requirements. A successful implementation strategy for impacted hospitals should include a plan to communicate changes in hospital policies to affected staff. This pamphlet is meant to be a tool that may be helpful for some hospitals in communicating changes with staff that are resulting from the new law.


Review the pamphlet with nursing leadership, legal counsel, and human resources executives to determine whether this will be a useful communication tool as your hospital implements any changes associated with complying with the new law. Use of the pamphlet is completely voluntary and is meant to supplement a hospital’s communications strategy.

While staff directly impacted by the new law are the primary audience, we also recommend considering whether this will be a useful tool with indirectly impacted staff – such as physicians – as any changes that are implemented may impact workflow for all members of the care team.


Washington’s new staffing law (House Bill 1155), applies to hospitals licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW, psychiatric hospitals licensed under chapter 71.12 RCW, hospices licensed under chapter 70.127 RCW, and rural health care facilities as defined in RCW 70.175.020. The law also impacts nursing homes or home health agencies if they are operated under the license of a facility listed above. The new law is contained in Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 49.12.480, RCW 49.28.130, and RCW 49.28.140.

For a detailed overview of employees subject to the new law, please refer to our previous bulletin.

The new tool is intended to support hospital leaders and nurse managers in communicating with staff – both those directly and indirectly impacted by the new law.


In response to feedback from our members, WSHA developed an informational pamphlet designed to help hospital leaders and managers communicate the requirements of the new law to impacted staff. Within the pamphlet, we have also included an email where staff can contact WSHA with concerns about the new law –

Additional Resources

WSHA’s 2019 New Law Implementation Guide

Please visit WSHA’s 2019 implementation guide online, where you will find a list of the high priority laws that WSHA is preparing resources and information on to help members implement the new laws, as well as links to resources such as this bulletin. In addition, you will find the Government Affairs team’s schedule for release of upcoming resources on other laws and additional resources for implementation.


Contact Us

Washington State Hospital Association
999 Third Avenue
Suite 1400
Seattle, WA 98104

Map / Directions

206.281.7211 phone
206.283.6122 fax

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