The purpose of this bulletin is to provide new tools and resources for nurse staffing committees to help ensure compliance and success under the 2017 nurse staffing law – HB 1714. All hospitals are required to have a nurse staffing committee and significant portions of the new law take effect on January 1, 2019.
Please refer to our previous bulletin on this topic for an overview of the new and existing laws, as well as key implementation dates.
This bulletin is relevant to CEOs, CNOs, CFOs and members of the nurse staffing committees at all hospitals and health systems.
- Review this bulletin and contact WSHA staff if you have questions
- Review the new toolkit for hospitals and nurse staffing committees to help ensure compliance and success under the new law. The toolkit includes:
- Nurse Staffing Committee Checklist
- Sample Nurse Staffing Committee Charter
- Nurse Staffing Plan Minimum Criteria
- Sample Attestation Form
- Staffing Complaint Form
- Assessing and Evaluating Complaints
- Complaint Tracking Tool
- Integrate new tools into nurse staffing committee process as appropriate and update nurse staffing committee procedures to comply with the new law
- Review full text of the current and new law and work with your staffing committee and legal counsel to begin implementation
- Participate in the joint WSHA and union webinar on the new 2017 law and the newly developed toolkit to ensure success. The webinar will be held on September 25 from 12-1pm and is for CNOs and members of the nurse staffing committee. More information will be forthcoming. The webinar will be recorded if you are unable to participate.
- Participate in the joint WSHA and union webinar on “Best Practices for Nurse Staffing Committees”. The webinar will be held in late October. More information will be forthcoming.
HB 1714, the new nurse staffing law, incorporates some new components into the development of staffing plans and adds a complaint and investigation process while ensuring a reasonable regulatory environment for hospitals. Significant portions of the new law take effect on January 1, 2019.
This bulletin provides links to a new toolkit for nurse staffing committees to help ensure compliance and success under the new law. Staffing committees need to comply with the law, but they are not required to use the toolkit. However, we strongly encourage staffing committees to use the toolkit or relevant components as there are new requirements under the law that require strong record keeping and quick complaint resolution.
The toolkit was developed in collaboration with the Washington State Nursing Association, SEIU 1199NW and UFCW 21. WSHA’s Nurse Staffing Advisory Group provided input throughout the development of this work. Many of the best practices and strategies in the toolkit come directly from nurse staffing committees across the state.
Please start working with your CNO, hospital leadership, legal counsel and members of your nurse staffing committee to review the toolkit and begin integrating the new tools into your nurse staffing committee process as appropriate and updating nurse staffing committee procedures to comply with the new law.
We will be tracking the adoption of the toolkit and readiness under the new law. WSHA staff will be in contact as we get closer to the January 1, 2019 effective date of the new law.
WSHA staff are happy to come out and visit your hospital and talk with your nurse staffing committee about the new law and toolkit. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a visit.
Background and References
The political dynamics of the 2017 session presented an unusual opportunity for WSHA to work with nursing unions and the Department of Health (DOH) on amendments to the existing nurse staffing committee law. For years, WSHA had been opposing legislation on nursing ratios advocated by the nursing unions. We welcomed the opportunity to work on a new approach together.
WSHA is committed to supporting the new law and ensuring it is effectively implemented across Washington. As part of this work, WSHA joined with the Washington State Nursing Association, SEIU 1199NW and UFCW 21 to form the Nurse Staffing Coalition in early 2018. The goal of the group is to support successful implementation of the Nurse Staffing Law. The Nurse Staffing Coalition developed a toolkit to educate nurse staffing committees about the new law and support compliance.