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 commission is continually improving access and utilization of available data to inform policy decisions, evidence based regulatory practice, and research. Some key evidence to inform decisions is provided and compiled for ease of access.

Nursing Workforce Reports

Collecting and supplying demographic data for the nursing profession in Washington state is essential to answering the fundamental questions on supply, demand, and distribution of the nursing workforce. Applicants and licensees must complete all demographic data elements and attest to the completion of the data elements as part of their licensure requirements [WAC 246-840-015]. Analysis of the survey results are provided below for licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs).

Annual Education Program Reports

The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission (NCQAC) requires all nursing education programs to provide information annually [WAC 246-840-554(4)]. This report summarizes academic year survey data from approved Washington state nursing programs and out-of-state distance learning programs, highlighting selected data trends.

Current Research Projects

  • Responding to a Critical and Urgent Need: Informing Evidence-Based Regulation of Simulation in Pre-licensure Registered Nursing Education
    • To inform evidence-based regulatory decisions about what is the most appropriate ratio to “count” hours spent in simulation towards required clinical hours for pre-licensure registered nursing education programs, this study aims to:
      1. Compare learning and patient care performance outcomes between students who participate in 4 hours of traditional clinical activities, 2 hours of mannequin-based simulation activities, or 2 hours of virtual simulation activities.
      2. Examine how each type of experiential learning (traditional clinical, mannequin-based simulation, and virtual simulation) meets pre-licensure registered nursing students' learning needs by answering the following questions:
        1. How do students make clinical judgments during patient care, how do they know (or not know) the correct action to take during patient care, and how will each experiential learning activity inform their nursing care when they encounter similar patient care situations in the future?
        2. How do pre-licensure registered nursing students perceive each experiential learning activity meets their learning needs?
      3. Conduct a cost-utility analysis comparing traditional clinical, mannequin-based simulation, and virtual simulation.

Data collection is scheduled for Sept. 2021 - June 2022 and results are anticipated by Sept. 2022. Please direct questions to the project's Principal Investigator: Katie Haerling at

Research Subcommittee's Business Plan

Questions? Email: