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Rules Overview

The Washington State Board of Nurisng (WABON) adopts rules according to the powers and duties granted to us by the Washington State Legislature. Rules are created through a public process involving open public workshops and hearings. While each rule is in various stages of rule writing, you are welcome to comment at any time.

Review our rules in progress or find out when the next rules workshop or hearing is scheduled. 

Questions? Please contact our rules staff at

The nursing board has authority (RCW 18.79.110) to change, update, and add to the following chapters of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC):

Washington Administrative Code (WAC)

A rule or WAC provides interpretive support for the individuals or entities to whom the rule or statute applies. Department of Health rules are written and adopted by a Board or Commission or the Secretary of the Department of Health.

Rules or WACs carry the full force of the law and help define safe and competent practice. You can perform an online search for WACs on the Washington State Legislature website or go directly to the full list of WACs.

Relevant WACs for nurses

WAC Chapter Title
WAC Chapter 246-12 Administrative Procedures and Requirements for Credentialed Health Care Providers
WAC Chapter 246-15 Whistleblower Complaints in Health Care Settings
WAC Chapter 246-840 Practical, Registered Nursing, and Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner

What is rule making?

Rule making is the process the board uses when it proposes to create, change, or delete rules in order to protect public health.

The board must follow the procedural requirements set out in the Administrative Procedure Act, chapter 34.05 RCW and the Regulatory Fairness Act, chapter 19.85 RCW when conducting rule making.

Individuals or organizations interested in the board's rule making activities should subscribe to rule making updates

For more information, please see the Department of Health's overview of the rule making process

How do we decide to begin rule making?

We may decide to start rule making based on changes in federal or state law, when we learn of changes in technology or the environment, or when we receive requests from our partners or the public.

What governs our rule making?

The Washington State Legislature grants us the authority to adopt rules, and the process for adopting rules is governed by the following state laws:

  • The Administrative Procedure Act (chapter 34.05 RCW) requires us to engage the public in rule development and outlines the process we must follow.
  • The Regulatory Fairness Act (chapter 19.85 RCW) requires us to consider the impact of our rules on small businesses.
  • RCW 18.79.110 authorizes the board to change, update and add to specific chapters of the Washington Administrative Code.

Stay connected

Sign up to be notified by email of important information about the board of nursing's rules as it becomes available. 

If you have questions, please contact our rules staff at

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