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State of Washington


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Abolished Date: 2011-12-16

Class Series Concept

Positions in this series assess and manage a wide variety of illnesses, abnormalities and health care problems.


Provides medical care to patients that includes performing examinations, establishing diagnoses and determining appropriate treatment or referral for medical problems.  All treatment provided is within the scope of the applicable licensure and under the general guidance of an attending physician.

Distinguishing Characteristics

A physician assistant is distinguished from other licensed medical classifications by the incumbent’s qualification to perform those limited medical functions prescribed and allowable under RCW 18.71A.  

Nurse Practitioner specialties include women's health care, pediatrics, adult health, family health, geriatrics, and mental health.

Treats patients for conditions such as hypertension, fractures, and sexually transmitted diseases.  Performs thorough physical examinations and carries out a treatment or case management plan to include referral to other health professionals, patient education, or prescribing medicine and prophylaxis, reviews patient profiles and interpretation of findings on the basis of general medical knowledge.

Typical Work

Takes extensive health and medical history, both general and specific, including review of systems and family history; 

Subject to the supervision of an authorized physician, examines patients and diagnoses their illnesses; recommends and administers routine medical treatment; 

Refers cases to physicians and health paraprofessionals for conditions outside his or her ability to diagnose or treat; 

Performs physical examinations; 

Orders and interprets laboratory examinations, analyses and X-rays; writes prescriptions; 

Perform minor surgical procedures such as suturing lacerations and incising and draining abscesses, including administration of local anesthesia; 

May lead and/or provide direction to support staff; 

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of:  methods and principles of general medicine; methods of diagnosing and treating more common medical and/or mental disorders; normal human growth and development, human anatomy and physiology, human behavior, pathology, diagnostic techniques, primary treatment for neuro-muscular injuries, current treatment methods for common human diseases and disorders, medicine commonly used for such diseases and disorders, and contraindications to be watched for. 

Ability to:  examine, diagnose and recommend treatment of physical diseases and deficiencies; work harmoniously with patients and other health professionals and paraprofessionals; exercise mature judgment in determining when to consult other resources for diagnosis and case management; make clear explanations of technical conditions to professionals and laymen.

Legal Requirement(s)

A valid Washington State license to practice as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner


A valid Physician Assistant license by the Washington Board of Medical Examiners 

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position. 

Desirable Qualifications

A valid Washington State license to practice as an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner 


A valid Physician Assistant license by the Washington Board of Medical Examiners 


Recent graduates of the formal education program who are awaiting the results of the licensing examination must have a Washington State issued temporary permit.  Failure to obtain a license shall result in immediate termination from the position by the appointing authority.  

Note:  For certain specialized positions, an ARNP with prescriptive authority may be required.  

Selective certification will be allowed for training and experience in the nursing specialty (i.e., family practice, adult health care, geriatrics) needed for a specific position within this class.

Class Specification History

New class, consolidates 6222 Health Care Specialist, 51080 Physician Assistant, and 56470 Nurse Practitioner; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.
General revisions, housekeeping only: revise title (formerly Physician Assistant/Certified Registered Nurse), add class series concept, revise definition and distinguishing characteristics; adopted August 16, 2007, effective August 17, 2007.

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