Nurse staffing committee — Definitions.
The definitions in this section apply throughout this section and RCW 70.41.420 unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Hospital" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 70.41.020, and also includes state hospitals as defined in RCW 72.23.010.
(2) "Intensity" means the level of patient need for nursing care, as determined by the nursing assessment.
(3) "Nursing personnel" means registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and unlicensed assistive nursing personnel providing direct patient care.
(4) "Nurse staffing committee" means the committee established by a hospital under RCW 70.41.420.
(5) "Patient care unit" means any unit or area of the hospital that provides patient care by registered nurses.
(6) "Skill mix" means the number and relative percentages of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and unlicensed assistive personnel among the total number of nursing personnel.
[2008 c 47 § 2.]
| Findings -- Intent -- 2008 c 47: "(1) The legislature finds that:|
(a) Research evidence demonstrates that registered nurses play a critical role in patient safety and quality of care. The ever-worsening shortage of nurses available to provide care in acute care hospitals has necessitated multiple strategies to generate more nurses and improve the recruitment and retention of nurses in hospitals; and
(b) Evidence-based nurse staffing that can help ensure quality and safe patient care while increasing nurse satisfaction in the work environment is key to solving an urgent public health issue in Washington state. Hospitals and nursing organizations recognize a mutual interest in patient safety initiatives that create a healthy environment for nurses and safe care for patients.
(2) In order to protect patients and to support greater retention of registered nurses, and to promote evidence-based nurse staffing, the legislature intends to establish a mechanism whereby direct care nurses and hospital management shall participate in a joint process regarding decisions about nurse staffing." [2008 c 47 § 1.]