Washington State Policy Fact Sheet

American Association of Nurse Practitioners - Washington State Policy

Nurse Practice Act: RCWA 18.79

Regulatory Structure: Full Practice

State practice and licensure laws authorize nurse practitioners (NPs) to evaluate patients, diagnose and prescribe medications and therapeutic measures.
WAC 246-840-300

Regulatory Agency

NP practice is regulated by the Nursing Commission.
WAC 246-840-300

Licensure Requirements

Requirements include an RN license, a graduate degree in an NP role and national certification.
WAC 246-840-340

Continuing Education (CE)*

Thirty CE hours are required every two years, and for NPs with prescriptive authority, an additional 15 CE hours are required during that time period. See the Nursing Commission for details.
WAC 246-840-360 and WAC 246-840-450

Medical Staff Membership**

NPs are permitted to join medical staffs.
WAC 246-320-010

Primary Care Providers

NPs are defined in law as Primary Care Providers.
RCWA 74.09.010

Signature Recognition on Items of Patient Care

  • Signature Authority: Washington grants NPs Signature Authority.
    RCWA 18.79.256
  • Physical Therapy: NPs are authorized to refer to physical therapy.
    WAC 246-840-300
  • Parking Permits: NPs are authorized to provide proof of disability for disabled parking permits.
    RCWA 46.19.010
  • DNR: NPs are authorized to sign Do Not Resuscitate orders.
    Washington State Department of Health
  • Death Certificates: NPs are authorized to sign death certificates.
    RCWA 70.58.170
  • Provider Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST): Washington’s POLST form may be signed by an NP.
    Washington State Department of Health

*Contact hours in specific topics may be required. Please contact your state Board of Nursing for current information.
**Medical Staff Membership refers to governing and voting privileges and is not reflective of clinical or admitting privileges within institutions.
DISCLAIMER: The material contained in this fact sheet is offered as information only and not as practice, financial, accounting, legal or other professional advice. Correspondents must contact their own professional advisors for such advice.

Updated November 25, 2019

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