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Can I still be a member of WSNA if I decide to not renew my license due to retirement?

Yes, you can still be a member. The WSNA Bylaws’ definition of a regular member includes one who has retired and/or no longer chooses to practice, but whose license was in good standing with his/her licensing board at the time the nurse made the decision not to maintain an active license.

What dues category will apply to me?

WSNA has several dues options.

Non-Union Membership: Category E of our Non-Union Membership option is for those 62 years or older, not employed, or totally disabled. The dues amount includes the WSNA portion of the dues, and a 75% discount on ANA and district/Region dues. This provides full WSNA, District/Region, and ANA membership rights.

Organizational Affiliate Membership: If you are a member of one of WSNA’s Organizational Affiliates (School Nurses of Washington, ARNPs United, or Mary Mahoney Professional Nurse Organization), you do not need to pay individual membership dues to WSNA to remain connected to the Association. This membership option allows affiliated individuals to access several WSNA member-only events and provides discounts in accordance with the affiliated organization’s written agreement with WSNA.

Please note that organizational affiliate members do not have full WSNA membership rights. This means that you cannot run for WSNA office or vote in WSNA elections. You would also not enjoy membership in ANA or your District/Region.

If you belong to an organization that has an Organizational Affiliate agreement with the WSNA and would like to participate in Association elections or run for WSNA office, you can do so paying the WSNA-only membership fee. Paying this fee gives you full WSNA membership rights but does not include membership in a District/Region or ANA.

Lifetime Membership is available for nurses who have been a member of WSNA for 30 years, are 65 years of age or older, and who maintain their RN license. They have full WSNA membership rights, including ANA and District/Region membership. No membership dues are required.

Honorary Membership is available for those nurses who have been a member of WSNA for 30 years, are 65 or older, and no longer maintain an RN license. These members have no voting or ANA privileges. No membership dues are required.

What are my licensure options?

Inactive status is ideal for nurses who will not be practicing in Washington state for an extended period of time. A practitioner may apply for an inactive credential if he or she meets the following criteria:

  • Holds an active Washington state credential;
  • Is in good standing; and
  • Will not practice in Washington.

To obtain an inactive credential, the practitioner must notify the Department of Health in writing of the intent to obtain an inactive credential. The fee for the initial inactive credential will be due on your next birthday when the active credential expires. Portions of the current renewal fee will not be prorated or refunded for the remaining active renewal cycle. The inactive licensure fee is currently $65 per year.

Note: If your license has been in inactive status for less than three years, you may choose to return to active status by entering into a compliance agreement of 177 practice hours and 15 continuing education hours within the first year of returning to active status. A mandatory audit will be performed after the first year back in active status in order to verify all requirements of the agreement were met. Failure to meet the requirements may result in having to complete a Commission-approved refresher program. The Nursing Commission is evaluating the continuing competency requirements. The current requirements may change.

If your license has been in inactive credential for more than three years and you have not been in active practice in another United States jurisdiction but wish to return to active status, you must successfully complete a Nursing Commission approved refresher course. The nurse will be issued a Limited Educational Authorization (LEA) license to enroll in the refresher course. The LEA is valid only while working under the direct supervision of a preceptor and is not valid for employment as a licensed practical or registered nurse. If you were actively practicing in another state during the time your Washington license was placed in inactive status, you may be eligible to reactivate without having to complete a refresher course.

Retired active status is ideal for nurses who are no longer employed full time but wish to continue volunteering nursing service to their community or want to work a limited number of days in a calendar year. As a nurse, you must be in good standing with the Nursing Commission and hold a current active license with Washington state. The retired active licensure fee is currently $65/year.

Once in retired active status you are responsible for completing 45 hours of continuing nursing education and at least 96 practice hours over a three-year period. Paid or volunteer nursing hours count toward the required practice hours. A registered nurse who holds a retired active credential may only practice in intermittent or emergent circumstances. Intermittent means the registered or licensed practical nurse will practice no more than ninety days a year. Emergent means the registered or licensed practical nurse will practice only in emergency circumstances such as earthquakes, floods, times of declared war or other states of emergency.

If I let my license expire, can I still call myself a Registered Nurse?

Recently the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission developed rules stating that a Registered Nurse who retires in good standing may call themselves a Registered Nurse – Retired. You cannot use the title Registered Nurse unless you have an active, inactive or retired active status license and have paid the appropriate fee.

For WSNA memership questions:
Please call 206-575-7979

For nursing licensure questions:
Please contact the Nursing Commission at 360-236-4703 or email nursing@doh.wa.gov.