Nursing Commission Information

Committee description and duties

Description:

The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) protects the public's health and safety by regulating the competency and quality of licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners and nursing technicians. The purpose of the NCQAC includes establishing, monitoring and enforcing licensing, consistent standards of practice, continuing competency mechanisms, and discipline.

Duties:

  • Establish qualifications for minimal competency to grant or deny licensure of registered nurses, practical nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners and nursing technicians.
  • Ensure consistent standards of practice.
  • Develop rules, policies and procedures to promote quality healthcare for the residents of the state.
  • Investigate complaints against nurses.
  • Serve as a reviewing member on disciplinary cases.
  • Serve as a member of disciplinary hearing panels.
  • Revoke, suspend, restrict specific practice or place probationary conditions on nursing licenses.
  • Approve curricula and establish criteria for nursing schools, both new and existing.
  • Approve nursing assistant education training programs per RCW 18.88A.060.

Qualifications

The nursing commission is 15 governor-appointed members, three public members, two advanced registered nurse practitioners, three licensed practical nurses, and seven registered nurses. All members must be citizens of the United States and residents of Washington.

Nursing members must have been licensed to practice nursing in Washington with at least three years of experience.

Public member representatives may not:

  • Be a member of any other healthcare licensing board or commission.
  • Have a fiduciary obligation to a facility rendering health care services.
  • Have a financial interest in the rendering of health services.

Total annual time commitment

Meetings/Conferences

8 to 9 days per year

Meeting Preparation

1 to 2 hours per meeting (or the equivalent of about 1 day per year)

Complaint file review

2 to 3 hours per month (about 24 hours per year)

Case Disposition Panels

2 hours per month

Hearing Panels

2 to 4 days per year

Sub-committee meetings

1 to 2 hours per meeting

Commissioner participation expectation guidelines

These guidelines serve as a reference for current members and prospective appointees of NCQAC:

  • Attend regular NCQAC meetings, scheduled for one day during business hours on the second Friday in January, March, May, July, September and November. NCQAC establishes its meeting schedule at their July meeting. The typical time commitment ranges between 8 - 9 days per year which also includes an annual NCQAC workshop, and the Department of Health one-day Board, Commission, Committee conference. See attached schedule of business meetings, hearings, sub-committees and charging panels. Participate in monthly meetings for disciplinary decisions and hearings. NCQAC members review investigative files preparing for presentation to a panel for disciplinary decisions. Panels may meet with short advance notice in order to respond to emergent situations to protect the public. NCQAC schedules hearings separately from regular meetings because of the number of cases needing to be heard.
  • Participate on Nursing Program Approval Panels reviewing nursing program educational standards and school surveys. Monthly meetings by conference call.
  • Participate on standing sub-committees. There are four standing sub-committees: Licensing, Discipline, Practice and Advance Practice. Each sub-committee usually meets every four weeks.
  • May participate on Nursing Program Approval Panels reviewing nursing program educational standards and school surveys. May participate on Nursing Assistant Training Program Approval Panel. Each panel usually meets once a month.
  • Prepare for all meetings by reading materials one to two weeks in advance of the scheduled meeting date. The packets take about one hour to read prior to each business meeting.
  • Act as a mentor for newly appointed NCQAC members.

Relevant statutes

Relevant rules

Performance guidelines for newly appointed commissioners

Attend an orientation presented by Nursing Commission Unit staff. The orientation includes program introduction, issues discussed in past NCQAC business or committee meetings, and the organizational relationship and responsibilities of NCQAC and the Department of Health. This is approximately one full day. Initial orientation outlines:

  • History of NCQAC.
  • Legal authority of NCQAC.
  • Roles and responsibilities of NCQAC members.
  • Ethics and confidentiality.
  • Legal liability of NCQAC members and the Department of Health.
  • Organizational structure of the Department of Health.
  • Roles and responsibilities of staff attorneys and Assistant Attorneys General (AAGs), disciplinary processes.
  • Rule making and other issues.
  • Position descriptions of officers and sub-committees.

Estimated time commitment during the first 6 months is between two and four days per month.

Commission member application

The Governor appoints Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission members. Visit the Governor's website to apply for a member position with the NCQAC.