Interpretive Statements of the Nursing Commission
Interpretive Statements do not have the force and effect of law. They are explanatory documents intended to convey the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission’s (NCQAC) interpretation of law and regulation as it existed at the time the statement is issued. Current interpretive statements are advisory only.
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 18.79 and Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-840 provide the statutory and legal basis of nursing practice. The nursing commission provides advisory opinions, interpretive statements, and guidance documents related to specific areas of nursing practice.
Agencies are encouraged to advise the public of its current opinions, approaches, and likely courses of action by means of interpretive statements as described in RCW 34.05.230. Whenever an agency issues an interpretive or policy statement, it must submit a statement to the Washington State Code Reviser that describes the subject matter of the interpretive statement and includes the name of the person from whom a copy of the interpretive statement can be obtained. The nursing commission has the discretion to amend, rescind or convert an interpretive statement.
Interested in asking the nursing commission to convert an interpretive statement into rule? Please submit a petition to request rulemaking to NCQAC.Rules@doh.wa.gov. You may use the Petition Form to clarify the request. The commission must respond to the petition in writing within 60 calendar days after the date the petition is received.
You can submit a written petition to request rulemaking to:
Department of Health
Attn: Nursing Commission Rules
P.O. Box 47864
Olympia, WA 98504-7864
If the commission accepts the petition, they agree to open the rule process (filing a CR-101 preproposal notice of inquiry under RCW 34.05.310) for public discussion of issues raised in the petition. It is not an agreement to change the rule specifically or to complete rulemaking. If the commission denies the petition, the commission’s response must follow the requirements of RCW 34.05.330.
If you do not agree with the nursing commission’s denial of the petition, you may appeal to the governor.
Current Interpretive Statements:
- Nursing Commission Interpretive Statement Number NCIS 1.00 (PDF) - Patient Abandonment (Effective November 16, 2012)
- Nursing Commission Interpretive Statement Number NCIS 2.00 (PDF) - Application of WAC 246-840-4659 to Nursing Homes and Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals (Effective December 21, 2018)