Gov. Jay Inslee signs bill to address qualifications of nursing home staff

A bill was signed into law on Wednesday by Washington Governor Jay Inslee that addresses the qualifications required of nursing home staff.

House Bill 1349 was introduced by Republican state Representative Joe Schmick, who has served the 9th district since 2007.

The bill requires that geriatric behavioral health workers have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work, behavioral health, or a related field in order to qualify for the position.

Under the bill, workers must also have three years of experience in a behavioral health setting, and have successfully completed a 30 hour behavioral health curriculum.

“With the increasing numbers of those seeking assistance in nursing homes, we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to provide excellent, qualified care to the elderly,” said Schmick in a statement from the Washington State House Republicans.

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