Washington Makes Strides to Fill the Gaps in Its Dental Workforce
During the 2023 legislative session, new bills were passed to bolster the dental workforce in the state of Washington, with a particular focus on dental hygienists. House Bill 1466, among other dental reform laws, was passed to facilitate the transition of dental hygienists relocating to Washington by extending the timeframe for obtaining their licenses while actively practicing in the field. The state, like many others, has experienced shortages in its dental workforce, particularly among dental hygienists. The extended timeframe is needed as Washington has higher requirements when it comes to education and scope of practice than many other states. House Bill 1576 authorizes Washington’s participation in the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Licensing Compact, enabling licensed dentists and dental hygienists from member states to practice in other participating states. Washington, alongside Iowa and Tennessee, led the way in committing to this compact, with several other states considering similar bills. Click here to read more.