California Nurses- Your Help Needed

Nurses Safety


California RNs- Your help is needed! (Well wishes from other states RNs greatly appreciated)-

The CA Dept of Health Services is in the process of formulating the minimum nurse patient ratios for AB394 (safe staffing bill) which was signed into law last year. The lobby for the hospital industrythe "California Hospital Association," (whom opposed AB394), is recommending ratios as listed (w/ one nurse to the number of pts as listed):

med/surg 1:10, step down 1:6, ER 1:6, Peds 1:6, Newborn nursery 1:8, L&D 1:3, Post partum 1:8, PACU 1:3.

This is for day shift folks! :-( Please help stand up for SAFER ratios. Your input is important!

The CA Nurses Association (CA nurses union) recommended the SAFE ratios as follows (one nurse to # patients as listed):

med/surg 1 RN :6 patients

special care/tele 1:4

Labor & Delivery/PACU/

Critical Patients in the ER 1:2

OR 1 circulating nurse for each OR

Peds 1:3

*** Additional staff assigned in accordance w/ a documented pt classification system for determining nursing care requirements.

The California Nurses Association has more info about the new legislation:

or you can write to:

Diana Bonta, RN, Director

CA Dept. of Health Services

PO Box 942732

1800 3rd Street

Suite #210

Sacramento, CA 94234-7320

In your letter you might want to describe the # pts you normally care for, the risks you face when staffing is inadequate, how management has responded to staffing problems, sign your name & what type of unit you work in, but do not identify which hospital you work at.

Thanks for your help!

Hope we can make a positive change for the future.


Barbara Rose

71 Posts

How many other states have minimum staffing guidelines now? I am curiours because here in Texas I have been working and writing about the need for a while now and still havent made much progress. I am enclosing copies of your numbers with my new letters to let my congressman/woman know what's going on and Arkansas has some minimum staffing for long term care facilities. Know of any others? GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Thanks for the reply, Barbara. Nurse patient ratios are a hot topic across the country. I'm not sure what other states have accomplished re: ratios/laws. Have you tried contacting any of the major nursing unions in your state for their help? If I find out anymore info on other states, I'll let you know.


186 Posts


I commend you for sharing this idea with members of the nursing community. Please share this at other sites as well. One good one is nursing spectrum. Try and please post your request there as well. Best of luck to you and all that you are trying to do.



Thanks for the suggestion. I'm going to spread this message as much as possible. I appreciate your input!



4,491 Posts

Thank you Kona!

I'm a CNA member doing my part.


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