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Join the WA Board of Nursing

Board Member Duties

  • Establish qualifications for minimal competency to grant or deny licensure of registered nurses, practical nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners and nursing technicians.
  • Ensure consistent standards of practice.
  • Develop rules, policies and procedures to promote quality healthcare for the residents of the state.
  • Investigate complaints against nurses.
  • Serve as a reviewing member on disciplinary cases.
  • Serve as a member of disciplinary hearing panels.
  • Revoke, suspend, restrict specific practice or place probationary conditions on nursing licenses.
  • Approve curricula and establish criteria for nursing schools, both new and existing.
  • Approve nursing assistant education training programs per RCW 18.88A.060.

Read about the comparison of roles.


The Governor appoints WABON members. Visit the Governor's website to apply for a member position with WABON.

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The WA Board of Nursing is 15 governor-appointed members, three public members, two advanced registered nurse practitioners, three licensed practical nurses, and seven registered nurses. All members must be citizens of the United States and residents of Washington.

Nursing members must have been licensed to practice nursing in Washington with at least three years of experience.

Public member representatives may not:

  • Be a member of any other healthcare licensing board or commission.
  • Have a fiduciary obligation to a facility rendering health care services.
  • Have a financial interest in the rendering of health services.
Total Annual Time Commitment


8 to 9 days per year

Meeting Preparation

1 to 2 hours per meeting (or the equivalent of about 1 day per year)

Complaint file review

2 to 3 hours per month (about 24 hours per year)

Case Disposition Panels

2 hours per month

Hearing Panels

2 to 4 days per year

Sub-committee meetings

1 to 2 hours per meeting

Board Participation Expectation Guidelines

These guidelines serve as a reference for current members and prospective appointees of WABON:

  • Attend regular WABON meetings, scheduled for one day during business hours on the second Friday in January, March, May, July, September and November. WABON establishes its meeting schedule at their July meeting. The typical time commitment ranges between 8 - 9 days per year which also includes an annual WABON workshop, and the Department of Health one-day Board, Committee conference. See attached schedule of business meetings, hearings, sub-committees and charging panels. Participate in monthly meetings for disciplinary decisions and hearings. WABON members review investigative files preparing for presentation to a panel for disciplinary decisions. Panels may meet with short advance notice in order to respond to emergent situations to protect the public. WABON schedules hearings separately from regular meetings because of the number of cases needing to be heard.
  • Participate on Nursing Program Approval Panels reviewing nursing program educational standards and school surveys. Monthly meetings by conference call.
  • Participate on standing subcommittees. There are four standing subcommittees: Licensing, Discipline, Practice and Advance Practice. Each subcommittee usually meets every four weeks.
  • May participate on Nursing Program Approval Panels reviewing nursing program educational standards and school surveys. May participate on Nursing Assistant Training Program Approval Panel. Each panel usually meets once a month.
  • Prepare for all meetings by reading materials one to two weeks in advance of the scheduled meeting date. The packets take about one hour to read prior to each business meeting.
  • Act as a mentor for newly appointed WABON members.
Performance Guidelines for Newly Appointed Board Members

Attend an orientation presented by WABON staff. The orientation includes program introduction, issues discussed in past WABON business or committee meetings, and the organizational relationship and responsibilities of WABON and the Department of Health. This is approximately one full day. Initial orientation outlines:

  • History of WABON.
  • Legal authority of WABON.
  • Roles and responsibilities of WABON members.
  • Ethics and confidentiality.
  • Legal liability of WABON members and the Department of Health.
  • Organizational structure of the Department of Health.
  • Roles and responsibilities of staff attorneys and Assistant Attorneys General (AAGs), disciplinary processes.
  • Rule making and other issues.
  • Position descriptions of officers and sub-committees.

Estimated time commitment during the first 6 months is between two and four days per month.