WSR 98-08-116



[Filed April 1, 1998, 11:55 a.m.]

Continuance of WSR 97-20-161

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-15-002

Title of Rule: Sexual misconduct, WAC 246-840-985 and 246-840-010 Definitions

Purpose: This would create a new WAC to assist the nurses and the public in understanding the concept and actions which can be taken in disciplinary cases coming before the Nursing Commission and to ensure that the Nursing Commission's disciplinary actions are enforceable and therefore more fully protect the public

Other Identifying Information: The rules hearing was held December 12, 1997. Additional information has been received prior to filing the CR-103 which has caused the Nursing Commission to rereview the proposed language. A public meeting will be held April 10, 1998, by the Nursing Commission to review the proposed language again

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.130.180(24)

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 18.79 RCW

Summary: This rule would make it easier for nurses and the public to understand that there are professional boundaries and standards of practice which need to be adhered to

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Protection of the public is the commission's primary goal when the profession of nursing is practiced. This WAC would allow the commission to successfully prosecute sexual misconduct cases reported to the commission. It would also educate the caregivers and the public that sexual misconduct is not an acceptable standard of practice

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Terry J. West, 1300 S.E. Quince Street, Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 664-4207

Name of Proponent: Washington State Department of Health, Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: Since 1993 the commission has had sexual misconduct guidelines in place. This served as a method of articulating the Nursing Commission's standards for the nursing profession when complaints involving sexual relations with patients and/or former patients were received. While the guidelines were helpful, moving them into rule would provide enforceability of commission actions. The rule would be available to all applicants, licensees, facilities and the public via the law book and would set the standard for nursing which would be beneficial to everyone.

Having this rule in place would protect the public because it provides notice to all. It will put facilities, nurses and schools on notice, it will make the patients aware of their rights. Commission action would be enforceable. The action could remove a licensee from the practice of nursing, order therapy, remedial education, or limit the setting a nurse could practice in, or other action deemed appropriate to provide protection to the public

Date of Intended Adoption: April 17, 1998

March 26, 1998

Terry J. West

Co-Acting Executive Director

Legislature Code Reviser 


Washington State Code Reviser's Office