Washington State

House of Representatives

Office of Program Research



Health Care & Wellness Committee

HB 1369

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Brief Description: Enabling student volunteers to provide health care services.

Sponsors: Representatives Riccelli, Schmick, Robinson, Parker, Holy, Haler, Tharinger, Cody and Ormsby.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Permits pharmacy students, medical students, and nursing students to perform tasks under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, licensed physician, registered nurse, or advanced registered nurse practitioner, so long as those tasks fall within the scope of practice of both the student and the supervisor.

Hearing Date: 1/28/15

Staff: Alexa Silver (786-7190).


Scopes of Practice.

Pharmacists are licensed by the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission. The practice of pharmacy includes: interpreting prescriptions; compounding, dispensing, labeling, administering, distributing, and storing drugs and devices; monitoring drug therapy; initiating or modifying drug therapy in accordance with written guidelines; participating in drug utilization reviews and product selection; and providing information on legend drugs.

Physicians are licensed by the Medical Quality Assurance Commission (Medical Commission). The practice of medicine is defined as: offering or undertaking to diagnose, cure, advise, or prescribe for any human disease, ailment, injury, infirmity, deformity, pain or other condition, physical or mental, real or imaginary, by any means or instrumentality; administering or prescribing drugs or medicinal preparations; and severing or penetrating the tissues of human beings.

Registered nurses and advanced registered nurse practitioners are licensed by the Nursing Quality Assurance Commission (Nursing Commission). The practice of advanced registered nursing means performing the acts of a registered nurse and performing an expanded role in providing health care services, as defined by the Nursing Commission, including prescribing legend drugs and controlled substances contained in Schedules II through V.

The practice of registered nursing is defined as performing acts requiring substantial specialized knowledge, judgment, and skill based on the principles of the biological, physiological, behavioral, and sociological sciences in, among other things: observing, assessing, diagnosing, caring or counseling, and health teaching of individuals with illnesses, injuries, or disabilities, or in the maintenance of health or prevention of illness; administering, supervising, delegating, and evaluating nursing practice; and executing a prescribed medical regimen. An unlicensed person may provide nursing care to the sick if he or she is uncompensated and does not hold himself or herself out to be a registered nurse.

Practice of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy by Students.

Students enrolled in a school of medicine that is approved and accredited by the Medical Commission may practice medicine pursuant to their coursework or under the supervision and control of a licensed physician. Nursing students enrolled in approved schools may practice registered nursing or advanced registered nursing so long as it is incidental to their course of study. Pharmacy students must apply for registration as a pharmacy intern to obtain pharmacy internship experience.

Summary of Bill:

A pharmacy student may practice pharmacy, a nursing student may practice registered nursing or advanced registered nursing, and a medical student may practice medicine if:

  1. the student is enrolled in an education program approved by the Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (Pharmacy Commission), Nursing Quality Assurance Commission (Nursing Commission), or Medical Quality Assurance Commission (Medical Commission), respectively;

  2. the student performs the services without compensation or expectation of compensation;

  3. the student is under the supervision and control of a licensed pharmacist, licensed physician, registered nurse, or advanced registered nurse practitioner; and

  4. the services are within the scope of practice of both the person supervising the student and the profession for which the student is receiving training.

The Pharmacy Commission, Medical Commission, and Nursing Commission may adopt rules to implement these requirements.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.