In this week’s update:
The Legislature adjourned Sine Die yesterday, March 10, marking the end of the 2022 Washington State Legislative session. This session presented a range of challenges during another remote session and on the tails of the second year of COVID. Despite the challenges, nurses showed up with a loud and clear voice and we have significant wins to show for it. Stay tuned for a full end of session report next, but until then, take a look at some of the major wins of the 2022 session.
Typically, the 2022 supplemental budget only contains minor adjustments to the prior year’s budget. But legislators heard that something needed to be done to address the health care workforce pipeline, and time was of the essence. As a result, the budget contains significant funding for nurse workforce development. The budget also includes funding for school nurses and improving credentialing. Here are some of the standout provisos:
This session also brought several policy successes. We were extremely disappointed that HB 1868, the safe staffing bill did not make it out this year. The Legislature did take action on a few smaller but significant bills for nurses.
Nurse Delegation (Glucose) – PASSED
Sponsor: Rep. Eileen Cody (D-Seattle)
SHB 1124 allows registered nurses to delegate glucose monitoring and testing to a registered or certified nursing assistant or a certified home care aide. HB 1124 was originally introduced in 2021 but did not make it out of the Senate by cutoff. At the start of the 2022 session, HB 1124 was reintroduced on the Senate side in the Health Care committee. The bill passed the Senate unanimously. The bill is currently on the Governor’s desk waiting for his signature. This bill was also funded in the budget.
Surgical Smoke – PASSED
Sponsor: Rep. Lisa Callan (D-Issaquah)
SHB 1779 requires hospitals and ambulatory care facilities to adopt policies requiring the use of smoke evacuation systems for planned surgical procedures. The bill also creates a Surgical Smoke Evacuation Account for Critical Access Hospitals and SOLE community hospitals to receive reimbursement for their upgrades. The act takes effect January 1, 2024 for the majority of hospitals and January 1 2025 for critical access hospitals and SOLE community hospitals. The amended version of the bill passed the Senate 44 to 5 and the House concurred 81 to 17. The bill is waiting to be delivered to the Governor.
Thank you for being part of the process during the 2022 legislative session.