top of page

Navigating the Nursing Profession in Washington State

Updated: Aug 21, 2022





Let us help you land on your dream job here in Washington! Read on this article to know more about the licensing process in Washington, and more!

 

Through this article, you will be able to know the following:

  • Fees for the licensing

  • Licensing renewal process (step-by-step)

  • Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

  • Licensing and certification

  • Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Washington

  • Popular hospitals in Washington

  • Nursing associations in Washington

  • Contact details


 

Fees for the Licensing

The table below shows the required payments for the licensing, whether you are a first-time nurse, applying by endorsement, or renewing your license. . For more details, visit the Washington licensing page.




*Fees may change without any notice.

 

Licensing Renewal Process

  1. Check when your license expires by visiting the Washington Board of Nursing website. Washington has a Verification page for you to verify your license.

  2. Before your license expires, make sure that you have completed the requirements for continuing education.

  3. Apply for your renewal process by going to the Washington Board of Nursing. You may check on the Renewal Information page for more specific information.



 

Requirements for Continuing Education in Nursing

The following are the Continuing Education Requirements for nurses in Washington.

  • For RN/LPN, you must have 8 CE hours and 96 active practice hours yearly.

  • For APRN, your renewal is biennially. You need to complete 30 CE hours in your specialty area. If you have prescriptive authority, an additional 15 hours in pharmacology is required.

The Washington State Department of Health Nursing Commission accepts courses that are ANCC accredited.

____________________________________________________________

Licensing and Certification


Step 1: Education

To earn an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), you must attend an accredited institution that offers ADN for 18-24 months. You can also take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree in an accredited institution. Roughly you will spend 4-5 years to earn this degree. For those who already have ADN, there are certain programs that lead you to BSN and it will only take you 12-18 months. There is also an RN to BSN program that will take one year for you to earn the degree. The said programs will let you save a bunch of money and time and you can easily take chances to be on your dream job.


Step 2: Licensing

Six weeks before your graduation, you can start the process of your application for the NCLEX-RN exam. This exam is composed of 75-265 items and you will be given a limit of 5 hours to finish all of it. Failing the exam does not necessarily mean that you do not have the chance anymore. After your first try, you just have to wait for 45 days and you can apply again.

The scope of NCLEX includes questions about: (1)health promotion and maintenance; (2)safe and effective care environment; (3)physiology and integrity; and (4) psychology and integrity.


Step 3: Experience

This time, you must learn how to take the opportunities in gaining first-hand experiences in dealing with patients, with colleagues and superiors, and with the different situations that you might face. These invaluable experiences will make you more attractive to bigger employers in the future.

Step 4: Certification

Your last step is to obtain certifications for your chosen career. There are different requirements for earning a certification, depending on your preferences so it is important to check with the governing provider for information. You can attend several trainings, seminars or workshops in varied institutions for this purpose.

____________________________________________________________

Job and Salary Expectations of Nurses in Washington

Shortage of healthcare professionals, specifically nurses, has been a perennial issue in the country. This makes nurses highly in demand during this period of time. This profession will increase by about 9% from 2020 to 2030. The average annual salary is currently $95,350.

Let us help you check out average wages of nurses to help determine if Washington is the right place for you.

 


Popular Hospitals in Washington

Still not decided on whether to work as a nurse in Washington or not? This list of the best hospitals in the state will surely help you make that decision to go in the right direction. U.S. News and World Report made a list of the best and popular hospitals in Washington. Here are some of them:

  • UW Medicine-University of Washington Medical Center – (Seattle, WA):

  • Regionally ranked #1 in Washington and in Seattle

  • Nationally ranked in 6 adult specialties

  • Rated high performing in 5 adult specialties and 14 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility and a teaching hospital

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Rehabilitation (#5 in the nation), Diabetes & Endocrinology (#10 in the nation), Cancer (#27 in the nation), and Ear, Nose & Throat (#31 in the nation)

  • Virginia Mason Medical Center – (Seattle, WA):

  • Regionally ranked #2 in Washington and in Seattle

  • Rated high performing in 5 adult specialties and 14 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Neurology & Neurosurgery, and Orthopedics

  • Providence St. Peter Hospital – (Olympia, WA):

  • Regionally ranked #3 in Washington

  • Rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 15 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Part of the Magnet Recognition Program®

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Back Surgery (Spinal Fusion), and Stroke

  • Seattle Cancer Care Alliance – (Seattle, WA):

  • Nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty

  • Rated high performing in 2 adult procedures and conditions

  • A cancer facility

  • One specialty of the hospital is Cancer.

  • Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center – (Vancouver, WA):

  • Regionally ranked #4 in Washington and in Portland

  • Rated high performing in 1 adult specialty and 11 procedures and conditions

  • General medical and surgical facility

  • Some specialties of the hospital include Colon Cancer Surgery, Heart & Kidney Failure, Diabetes, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and Pneumonia.

*The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) awards Magnet Status to Hospitals that apply and meet certain criteria. This award is also considered as the “gold standard” for excellence in nursing practice and care.

 

Nursing Associations in Washington

Becoming a member of a nursing association opens a lot of opportunities to your career growth. It gives you the advantages of varied job offers and networking, and a bunch of information and experiences shared between you and your fellow nurses. Through these organizations, learning and professional growth never stop. Listed below are just a few of the nursing organizations that you can find and join once you are in Washington.

King County Nurses Association “This is a professional institution of nurses who dedicate themselves in promoting healthy communities.”

Washington State Nurses Association “This organization represents nurses and allows them to reach their full professionalism in taking care of patients and the community.”

Western Washington Nurses Association of Hispanic Nurses “The main goal of this association is to make Latinx a part of the racial and ethnic health equity continuum of the nursing profession.”

For more information about the nursing associations, you may visit the comprehensive list of national organizations as well.


 

Contact Details

Washington State Department of Health Nursing Commission

Phone: (360) 236-4703

Email: nursing@doh.wa.gov

Website: https://www.doh.wa.gov/LicensesPermitsandCertificates/NursingCommission




0 views0 comments