State of Washington
68th Legislature
2024 Regular Session
BySenators Rivers, Cleveland, Dhingra, Dozier, Nobles, Padden, Robinson, Wellman, and L. Wilson
Read first time 01/22/24.Referred to Committee on Health & Long Term Care.
AN ACT Relating to addressing the anesthesia workforce shortage by reducing barriers and expanding educational opportunities to increase the supply of certified registered nurse anesthetists in Washington; creating new sections; and providing an expiration date.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1. The health care system faces increasing costs and workforce shortages. Health care facilities are facing a shortage of anesthesia providers. The legislature intends to address the workforce shortage to ensure patients always have access to anesthesia care throughout the state.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2. Subject to amounts appropriated specifically for this purpose, the Washington state board of nursing shall develop and manage a grant process for the purposes of providing incentives to certified registered nurse anesthetists to precept nurse anesthesia residents in health care settings. The board of nursing shall ensure the funds in the grant process are distributed equally among the total qualified applicant preceptors that dedicate at least 80 hours per year to precepting any nurse anesthesia residents. The goal of the grant program is to create more clinical placements for nurse anesthesia students to complete required clinical hours to earn their degree and related licensure.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3. (1) The health workforce council, in collaboration with the Washington state board of nursing, the Washington medical commission, and the department of health, shall study the workforce shortages in anesthesia care in Washington state and submit an initial report to the legislature beginning June 30, 2025, with an update report annually thereafter. The health workforce council shall submit a final report due June 30, 2029, detailing the progress made in the previous five years and any findings and policy recommendations to further address the workforce shortages in anesthesia care. The initial report shall include, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Identifying the factors and barriers to entry into the anesthesia workforce;
(b) Evaluating and assessing the current training and pipeline for the health care providers who may provide anesthesia care;
(c) Developing recommendations that reduce barriers for individuals who want to become certified registered nurse anesthetists and increasing the available clinical training slots for nurse anesthesia residents; and
(d) Creating and maintaining an implementation plan to improve the pipeline of anesthesia care providers in the state.
(2) This section expires June 30, 2030.
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