Nurses may be referred to WHPS by their licensing authority, employers, associations, colleagues, friends, or family members. Early referral ensures public protection and increases recovery outcomes.
Mandatory reporting requirements are contained in Chapter 246-16 WAC, Standards of Professional Conduct.
Alternative to Discipline Referrals (voluntary participation)
Nurses, employers, and others may contact WHPS directly instead of filing a formal complaint with the nursing commission.
WAC 246-16-220 states, "When there is no patient harm, reports of inability to practice with reasonable skill and safety due to a mental or physical condition may be submitted to one of the approved impaired practitioner or voluntary substance abuse programs or to the department." A report of substance misuse concerns to WHPS meets mandatory reporting requirements.
The nursing commission supports contacting WHPS as a first action before filing a complaint. WHPS will review the circumstances with you and provide appropriate guidance.
Advantages of Voluntary Participation
Nurses voluntarily participating in WHPS are not subject to disciplinary action, and do not have their participation made known to the nursing commission if they meet WHPS requirements.
Voluntary participation carries the advantage of immediate intervention and referral to treatment, bypassing what may otherwise be a long legal process before formal intervention.
To self-report or refer a colleague to WHPS please call 360-236-2880, option 1.
- Washington State Certified Treatment Services
- A Guide for Assisting Colleagues with Substance Use Disorder
- WHPS Resources
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use and are looking for further assistance, please contact us:
Phone: 360-236-2880, option 1