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California Nurse: Ratio Laws and Rest Periods

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by JacobBrown JacobBrown (New) New

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This will be short and sweet. I am asking if any California nurses have had a Charge/Break nurse attempt to cover more than one nurse at a time in California for their breaks? This is happening at my facility and one nurse will be covering 12-15 patients while they send three floor nurses on break. This is not a one time event but a pattern that has been encouraged by my manager. She even said in a staff meeting that it was normal for the break nurse to cover multiple nurses. Thanks for any info!

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saraleigh has 7 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in Med-Surg/Telemetry.

29 Posts; 2,228 Profile Views

I'd say that is pretty standard.

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

1 Follower; 6,367 Posts; 65,621 Profile Views

Break coverage is not an exception to the mandated ratios, it is illegal in California for a nurse to be required to be responsible for more than the maximum ratio even when covering for another nurse on break.

A charge nurse can take responsibility for another nurse's patients while they go on break, but if that assignment is already at the maximum number of patients for one nurse then they cannot legally be required to take on other patients as well to break other nurses at the same time.

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158 Posts; 6,638 Profile Views

Definitely not normal at my facility thankfully. The break nurse covers one nurse at a time and when they aren’t available then the charge nurse will break one. Sometimes if we are behind then they both break someone. Also sometimes we break each other and try not to go over our ratios though honestly it does happen. 

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