File a Complaint
You can find information about:
- Filing a complaint
- Following up on a filed complaint
- Facing a complaint filed against your nursing license
The Nursing Commission has jurisdiction over nurse licenses, nursing education programs, and nursing assistant training programs in Washington state.
File a complaint
- About a nurse
- About a physician
- All other health professions (including nursing assistants)
- Look up a practitioner's license for any action taken
File a nursing education complaint
- About a nursing education program
- About a nursing assistant training program
- About a nursing education faculty member
You filed a complaint. Now what?
If you filed the complaint and the commission decides to close the complaint without an investigation, you will be notified by mail. You may ask the commission to reconsider its decision. This is a one-time option to submit additional, relevant information that indicates a violation of nursing law occurred (see RCW 18.130). Without additional relevant information, the case will remain closed.
If the commission decides to investigate your complaint, the investigator may need you to:
- to determine if you are considered a whistleblower see WAC 246-15
- write a statement regarding the incident
A complaint has been filed against your nursing license. Now what?
You may not know a complaint has been filed until you receive either a letter telling you a complaint was filed and closed, or a letter advising you an investigation has been initiated. These letters are usually sent out within five days of the decision.
A note about nurse disciplinary action and self-care for the nurse
Nurses report facing a complaint against their professional license is often one of the more stressful experiences in their careers. The commission understands nurses enter the profession to save lives and to provide excellent care, and no nurse sets out to make mistakes. Especially when there has been a negative patient outcome, the nurse may experience a rush of emotions. The commission urges nurses to engage their support systems and seek professional help if stress becomes a problem.
The commission's legal duty is to protect the public and remediate nurses' practice, not to punish. Furthermore, the commission supports the concept of "just culture." Keep in mind the majority of cases do not require license suspension.