2023 staffing law

The 2023 staffing law significantly advances safer nurse staffing standards across Washington state.

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