Ensuring safe nurse staffing is a top priority for WSNA.

We know, and research confirms, that inadequate nurse staffing leads to medical errors, poorer patient outcomes, nurse burnout and injuries to nurses. Our approach to improving nurse staffing is multifaceted, encompassing legislation and policy, staffing committee tools, education and the latest research.

Current initiatives

WSNA is working to ensure that the safe staffing bill passed in 2017 is implemented well and nurses have the tools and information they need to make the law work in their facilities.

Legislation and policy

We work with the State Legislature, regulatory agencies and the Governor’s Office to advance stronger laws and policies on safe nurse staffing.

Recent achievements include:

The 2017 Staffing Transparency & Accountability Act, which amends the 2008 staffing law to hold hospitals accountable for nurse staffing plans the work of the staffing committee.


Research consistently confirms that safe nurse staffing is critical to quality of care and patient safety.

We’ve compiled the most significant research findings that support safe staffing and that you can use to make the case for safe staffing in your hospital and with policymakers.


Staffing committees only work well when nurses get involved and understand their role and responsibilities.

Explore this toolkit with information and work samples to help registered nurses serving on staffing committees.


Workshop series: "We won! Now what?"

Implementing the new breaks/overtime protections and workplace violence prevention laws

Latest news

Staffing bill passage a major step forward in ensuring safe staffing

HB1714 ensures transparency and accountability for hospital nurse staffing plans The Washington State Nurses Association applauds the legislature for passing the Patient Safety Act today, addressing WSNA’s top issue of safe staffing. The bill creates greater transparency and accountability for nurse staffing plans and the work of nurse staffing committees in hospitals.

Nurse Staffing - A Step Forward

WSNA is pleased to announce that the Health Care Authority, through its State Innovation Plan, has broadened their “Starter Set” of Performance Measures to now include three Nursing Sensitive Measures in their Medicaid Quality Incentive program. Achievement of measure benchmark goals is tied to the incentive payments to hospitals through the safety net assessment program.

MEDIA RELEASE: WSNA leads effort to address staffing crisis at Western State Hospital by using Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners in clinical roles

Nursing’s role in solving the state’s mental health crisis will be the top issue at the Washington State Nurses Association’s Nurse Legislative Day on Monday, Feb. 1. With 700 attendees, WSNA hosts the largest lobby day in Olympia. In his keynote address, Governor Inslee is expected to discuss nursing’s role in helping solve the mental health crisis.