2017 Nurse Staffing Law Resources and Tools

The 2017 Nurse Staffing Law (Patient Safety Act, HB 1714) includes new provisions to strengthen nurse staffing committees in hospitals and increase accountability for staffing plans. Significant portions of the new law take effect on January 1, 2019. 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 tool kit to educate nurse staffing committees about the new law and support compliance.

2018 Tool Kit

The Nurse Staffing Coalition’s tool kit includes information, recommendations, draft forms and work samples to support the work of nurse staffing committees in Washington hospitals.

Forming the Staffing Committee

  • 2017 Nurse Staffing Law (PDF)
    Full text of the final bill as signed into law.
  • Nurse Staffing Committee Checklist (Word | PDF)
    Key elements of nurse staffing committees under the 2008 and 2017 law, including composition, primary responsibilities, staffing plan development and implementation of the plan.
  • Sample Nurse Staffing Committee Charter (Word | PDF)
    We recommend that all hospitals have a Nurse Staffing Committee charter describing the roles, responsibilities and processes by which nurse staffing plans are developed and used.

Developing and submitting the nurse staffing plan

  • Nurse Staffing Plan Minimum Criteria (Word | PDF)
    Core elements of the nurse staffing plan (matrix by unit and shift) recommended for submission to the Department of Health beginning January 1, 2019.
  • Sample Attestation Form (Word | PDF)
    To be signed by hospital CEO attesting that the staffing plan submitted to the Department of Health was developed in accordance with the law.

Submitting, evaluating and tracking complaint

  • Staffing Complaint Form (Word |PDF)
    The 2017 Staffing Law includes a process for staff nurses to raise staffing-related complaints and for staffing committees to respond to complaints. Our recommended complaint form will help track complaints and data coming to the nurse staffing committee.
  • Assessing and Evaluating Complaints (Word | PDF)
    Tool to help nurse staffing committees assess and evaluate complaints, including a decision tree outlining the process.
  • Complaint Tracking Tool (Excel)
    Excel form to help the nurse staffing committee track complaints, the resolution and the time frame by which complaints were received and resolved.

Educational Resources

The Coalition hosted a webinar on Washington’s 2017 Nurse Staffing Law – An Overview and Tools to Ensure Success on September 25, 2018. The webinar provided an overview of the Coalition’s work, the existing nurse staffing law, requirements under the new nurse staffing law, the Coalition’s tool kit and the State Department of Health’s role under the new law. Slides from the webinar can be accessed here. A video recording of the webinar can be accessed here.


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