State-Mandated Nurse Staffing Levels Alleviate Workloads, Leads to Lower Patient Mortality

  1. 6 As mandated by State law, the California Department of Health Services requires acute care hospitals to maintain minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. Required ratios vary by unit, ranging from 1:1 in operating rooms to 1:6 on psychiatric units.
    The legislation also requires that hospitals maintain a patient acuity classification system to guide additional staffing when necessary, assign certain nursing functions only to licensed registered nurses, determine the competency of and provide appropriate orientation to nurses before assigning them to patient care, and keep records of staffing levels.

    To assist with compliance, the legislation made grants available to hospitals and provided funding to college and university nursing programs to increase the pipeline of new nurses.

    The legislation has increased nurse staffing levels and created more reasonable workloads for nurses in California hospitals, leading to fewer patient deaths and higher levels of job satisfaction than in other states without mandated staffing ratios. Despite initial concerns from opponents, the skill mix of nurses used by California hospitals has not declined since implementation of the mandated ratios. ...

    State-Mandated Nurse Staffing Levels Alleviate Workloads, Leading to Lower Patient Mortality and Higher Nurse Satisfaction | AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Mar 27, '15
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  3. Visit  herring_RN profile page

    About herring_RN

    herring_RN has '>40 years' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical'. From 'California, USA'; Joined Mar '04; Posts: 13,706; Likes: 24,298.

    29 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    8
    To assist with compliance, the legislation made grants available to hospitals and provided funding to college and university nursing programs to increase the pipeline of new nurses.
    Now that masses of new nurses are being pumped into the pipeline without a corresponding demand, the unemployment rate for new grad nurses in California is hovering at 43 percent.

    Central Valley Business Times
    tewdles, Not_A_Hat_Person, opossum, and 5 others like this.
  5. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    7
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Now that masses of new nurses are being pumped into the pipeline without a corresponding demand, the unemployment rate for new grad nurses in California is hovering at 43 percent.

    Central Valley Business Times
    You tell them!!!! There is NO NURSING SHORTAGE!
    tewdles, herring_RN, rayskat, and 4 others like this.
  6. Visit  mmc51264 profile page
    3
    there is in eastern NC. There are tons of jobs here. Esp. experienced and, believe it or not, a high demand for LPNs. My class of 31, that graduated in May, from an ADN program, almost all had jobs before they graduated. those that didn't were either going straight on to more school or had other things (marriages, babies, etc)
    There are probably 100+ jobs that are within an hour's drive from where I live to apply for. Some are specialty, but most genereal nursing. Oh and they are opening 2 new hospitals AND a mental health facility.
    laborer, herring_RN, and lindarn like this.
  7. Visit  imintrouble profile page
    7
    I wish there were mandated ratios where I work. I honestly never know how many pts I'm going to be responsible for when I walk onto the unit.
    They staff reasonably, but if somebody calls off, or is pulled to a different unit, we are just expected to adjust.

    I've started doing something I've never done as a nurse. When a pt asks me to assist with the bedpan or to the BR, I simply put on the light and tell the pt, the CNA will be with you. The CNA ratio is even worse than the nurses', and I feel awful not helping them. But the only way the ratio will improve is if the PATIENT feels the pinch too. When the pt complains, management listens. Not so much with us.
    sneeds, tewdles, Always_Learning, and 4 others like this.
  8. Visit  wooh profile page
    10
    Shocking, ratios work? Who'd have thunk!
    sneeds, musingmom, Testa Rosa, RN, and 7 others like this.
  9. Visit  chuckster profile page
    14
    It's well-known that California is a socialist haven.

    Give me a place like PA where hospitals and nursing homes are free to assign as many patients as they want to nurses. Poor patient outcome is a small price to pay for freedom for health care corportations, who, in the words of one candidate for president, are people too.
    tewdles, Not_A_Hat_Person, Barley, and 11 others like this.
  10. Visit  HippyDippyLPN profile page
    16
    We need this in the whole US. But in LTC. The ratios are nearly criminal and yet it gets worse every day.
  11. Visit  azhiker96 profile page
    12
    I'd guess that LTC must be spending all their profits to lobby against mandated staffing ratios. They certainly are not spending it on staffing.
  12. Visit  gummi bear profile page
    7
    If this were implemented in every state, then would this have an effect on the unemployment rate for nurses? I know that some hospitals have hiring freezes, but they are definitely understaffed. They'd rather have dangerous ratios and "save money", than to provide adequate care.
    sneeds, Not_A_Hat_Person, lindarn, and 4 others like this.
  13. Visit  peasandonions profile page
    5
    Quote from Esme12
    You tell them!!!! There is NO NURSING SHORTAGE!
    I am in Texas, and we have a lot of new grads from California here because the unemployment rate is so high there. Right now, we are way overstaffed too. I don't know where this nursing shortage is that they keep reporting. Maybe the patients think that because the facilities staff us as light as possible!
    Last edit by peasandonions on Oct 8, '12 : Reason: forgot a word
    sneeds, Barley, lindarn, and 2 others like this.
  14. Visit  ArrowRN profile page
    2
    Quote from gummi bear
    If this were implemented in every state, then would this have an effect on the unemployment rate for nurses? I know that some hospitals have hiring freezes, but they are definitely understaffed. They'd rather have dangerous ratios and "save money", than to provide adequate care.
    Yes but what about hospitals creating these "tech" positions that nurses normally do. I recently saw an ad for "critical care tech" and the job description was exactly like what an ICU RN would do. So one has to think about about whether or not laws like these would lead to more nurse positions.
    smoke over fire and lindarn like this.
  15. Visit  herring_RN profile page
    4
    Quote from man-nurse2b
    Yes but what about hospitals creating these "tech" positions that nurses normally do. I recently saw an ad for "critical care tech" and the job description was exactly like what an ICU RN would do. So one has to think about about whether or not laws like these would lead to more nurse positions.
    I certainly think patients are safer with a competent critical care nurse that with a tech.
    tewdles, smoke over fire, laborer, and 1 other like this.


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