2023 staffing law

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During the 2023 WA State Legislative Session, WSNA worked closely with our partners in the WA Safe + Healthy Coalition to help pass a more effective safe staffing bill (SB 5236) that has since been signed into law by the Governor. This law improves the 2017 staffing law by providing additional reporting requirements for hospitals, accountability for compliance with staffing plans, removes the CEO veto of staffing plans, and a number of other measures aimed to improve accountability of hospitals in terms of safe staffing standards and patient safety. While the law that was ultimately passed did not contain all of the original pieces we wanted, we are pleased with the outcome as it keeps us moving forward towards safer nurse staffing standards.

WSNA is working on putting together a plan for educating our members as well as tracking and implementing the various pieces of this new law so you can expect to see and hear more about this over the coming months.

Implementation timeline

  • June 1, 2023 — Parts of the old staffing law sunset
  • August 4, 2023 — Submit a list of advisory committee nominees to the governor’s office. WSNA recommends two nurses to sit on the committee
  • September 1, 2023 — Advisory committee established
  • January 1, 2024 — New hospital committees formed (now must include CNAs)
  • March 1, 2024 — Recommended uniform reporting form completed by advisory committee
  • July 1, 2024 — New committee charter required to be filed with DOH
  • October 1, 2024 — Hospital must adopt written policies and procedures to document noncompliance with staffing plans
  • January 1, 2025 — Staffing plan under new law due to DOH
  • July 1, 2025 — Hospitals required to implement staffing plan under new law