Each nursing education program shall have a sufficient number of professionally and academically qualified faculty with adequate diversity of expertise in nursing to meet the nursing education program purpose, outcomes and quality improvement.
(1) The maximum ratio of faculty to students recommended in clinical areas involving direct care of patients or clients is one faculty member to ten students. A lower ratio may be required by the nursing commission for students in initial or highly complex learning situations, or when student/client safety warrant. A higher ratio may be allowed with use of trained preceptors for students. Factors to be considered in determining the ratio are:
(a) The preparation and expertise of the faculty member;
(b) The objectives to be achieved;
(c) The level of students;
(d) The number, type, and acuity of patients;
(e) The number, type, location, and physical layout of clinical facilities being used for a particular course(s);
(f) Students in initial or highly complex learning situations; and
(g) The use of trained preceptors.
(2) If the faculty to student ratio in clinical areas involving direct care of patients or clients exceeds one faculty member to ten students, the program nurse administrator must submit a standardized report to the nursing commission. The report can be obtained from the nursing commission office. The contents of the standardized report must include, but is not limited to:
(a) The nursing program pass rate on the National Licensing Examination identified in WAC 246-840-050
for the last two years;
(b) The results of the two most recent faculty satisfaction surveys;
(c) The results of the two most recent student satisfaction surveys;
(d) Rationale for the exception to the one faculty member to ten students ratio and information supporting the program's decision. The rationale must include how the program will maintain patient safety.
The nursing commission must respond to the program nurse administrator, either electronically or in writing, regarding the report and its acceptance or denial, in a timely fashion. The nursing commission may request a site survey to be conducted based upon the report to gather information supporting the document. The commission must notify the program nurse administrator at least two weeks in advance of the site survey and indicate the purpose of the survey.
(3) Clinical preceptors may be used to enhance clinical learning experiences, after a student has received clinical and didactic instruction from program faculty in all basic areas for that course or specific learning experience. Preceptors may be used with the following criteria:
(a) Licensed at or above the level for which the student is preparing;
(b) Experienced in the facility and specialty area;
(c) Orientation to written course and student learning objectives and documented role expectations of faculty, preceptor and preceptee; and
(d) The faculty member shall confer with each preceptor and student regularly during the precepted learning experience.
(4) Nursing faculty shall have a current unrestricted license to practice as a registered nurse in Washington.
(5) Degree requirements for faculty teaching in nursing education programs shall have: FOR PRACTICAL NURSING PROGRAMS:
(a) In a program preparing practical nurses only, a minimum of a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing from an accredited college or university. FOR REGISTERED NURSING PROGRAMS:
(b) In a program preparing registered nurses, a minimum of a masters degree with a major in nursing or a baccalaureate degree in nursing with a masters in a related field from an accredited college or university, unless:
(i) For faculty teaching in the classroom or laboratory, the nursing program shall provide documentation to the commission within thirty days of hire that:
(A) Despite aggressive recruitment efforts, it has been unable to attract properly qualified faculty; and
(B) The individual will either teach one year or less or be currently enrolled in a masters in nursing program at an accredited college or university.
(ii) For clinical faculty who will directly supervise students at a clinical facility, the nursing program shall provide documentation to the commission within thirty days of hire that:
(A) The individual has at least a minimum of a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing from an accredited college or university; and
(B) The individual has current clinical experience of at least three years in the clinical subject area taught.
(iii) For faculty teaching in the classroom, laboratory or clinical setting, the individual is nursing faculty tenured prior to November 3, 1995.
(6) Interdisciplinary faculty must have academic and professional education and experience in their field of specialization.
(7) Faculty shall be responsible for:
(a) Developing, implementing, and evaluating the purpose and outcomes of the nursing education program.
(b) Designing, implementing, and evaluating the curriculum.
(c) Developing and evaluating student admission, progression, retention, and graduation policies within the framework of the policies of the governing institution.
(d) Participating in or providing for academic advising and guidance of students.
(e) Evaluating student achievement, in terms of curricular objectives as related to both nursing knowledge and practice, including preceptorship experiences.
(f) Selecting, guiding, and evaluating student learning.
(g) Participating in activities to improve their own nursing competency in area(s) of responsibility and to demonstrate current clinical competency.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.79.110 and 18.79.150. 05-12-058, § 246-840-570, filed 5/26/05, effective 6/26/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.79.110. 95-21-072, § 246-840-570, filed 10/16/95, effective 11/16/95.]