WSR 97-12-030



[Filed May 30, 1997, 2:20 p.m.]

Supplemental Notice to WSR 97-07-074.

Exempt from preproposal statement of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310(4).

Title of Rule: Nurse technician criteria.

Purpose: To extend the period of time an individual may function as a nurse technician to ninety days rather than thirty days and to provide for housekeeping changes.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 18.79 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 18.79 RCW.

Summary: The rule would extend the period of time an individual may function as a nursing technician after graduation from a school of nursing from thirty days to ninety days. This gives the nurse extended time to arrange to schedule and take the national licensure exam and gives a better time frame for notification of licensure exam results.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: Employers are reestablishing "preceptor" programs for new graduates of nursing schools. They have voiced concern to the commission that the current thirty-day time frame must be extended to ninety days to meet their needs for these programs. Department of Health staff concur.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: P. Hayes, Department of Health, (360) 664-4100; Implementation and Enforcement: Joan Reilly, Department of Health, (360) 664-4208.

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

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

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: The rule will make housekeeping changes to include changing the word "board" to "commission" and other housekeeping changes for readability. In addition, the rule will change the length of time an individual can function as a "nursing technician" after graduation from a school of nursing from thirty days to ninety days. This change is necessary from comments received from employers who are instituting preceptorship programs for new graduates. The preceptor programs had stopped when there was a perceived oversupply of nurses. In addition, staff has seen that the thirty-day time limit is insufficient, particularly in the summer months, for these new graduates to schedule a time to sit for the national licensure exam, take the exam, and then receive results back for licensure issuance.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The rule completes the consolidation of the RN and LPN WACs and extends the time period for nursing technician status from thirty days to ninety days.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This proposed language does not impose any additional cost on industry.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. This rule does not subject a person to a penalty or sanction, does not establish or amend a standard for licensure and does not make significant amendments to a regulatory program. This rule does make housekeeping changes and does increase the time period for an individual to function as a nursing technician from thirty days to ninety days.

Hearing Location: Wenatchee Convention Center Hotel, 201 North Wenatchee Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801, (509) 662-1234, on July 18, 1997, at 2:00 p.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact P. Henderson by July 11, 1997, TDD (360) 664-0064, or FAX (360) 586-2165.

Submit Written Comments to: Joan Reilly, FAX (360) 586-2165, by July 11, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: July 18, 1997.

May 22, 1997

Patty Hayes

Executive Director


The following section of the Washington Administrative Code is repealed:

WAC 246-839-860 Nursing technician criteria.


WAC 246-840-860 Nursing technician criteria. To be eligible for employment as a nursing technician a student must meet the following criteria:

(1) Satisfactory completion of at least one academic term (quarter or semester) of a nursing program approved by a commission or board of nursing (ADN, diploma, or BSN). The term must have included a clinical component.

(2) Currently enrolled in a nursing commission approved program will be considered to include:

(a) All periods of regularly planned educational programs and all school scheduled vacations and holidays.

(b) The period of time of notification to the commission of completion of nursing education, following graduation and application for examination, not to exceed ninety days from the date of graduation.

(c) Current enrollment will not be construed to include:

(i) Leaves of absence or withdrawal, temporary or permanent, from the nursing educational program.

(ii) Students enrolled in nursing department classes who are solely enrolled in academic nonnursing supporting course work, whether or not those courses are required for the nursing degree.

(iii) Students who are awaiting the opportunity to reenroll in nursing courses.


Legislature Code Reviser


Washington State Code Reviser's Office