5 things we’ve learned from California’s nurse-to-patient ratios


Nurses in California, one of the United States’ biggest states, won safe staffing nurse-to-patient ratios in 1999 after a 13 year fight. Mandated ratios have been in place in the state since 2004. 15 years on, here are just some of the results that they’ve seen in the Golden State.

1. Nurse-to-patient ratios lead to less patients per nurse across the board.

Sounds pretty obvious right? However, we’ve all heard the arguments that ratios will reduce flexibility, and will not affect the quality of patient care. California’s example shows that this simply is not the case. In fact, Californian nurses take care of two fewer patients on average than nurses in states without ratios – a sign that hospital management will not staff adequately without mandatory patient limits.

Union Rights = Advocacy Rights! Union strength was key to nurses' success in winning safe nurse-to-patient ratios in California.

Posted by California Nurses Association on Thursday, 18 October 2018

2. Nurse-to-patient ratios save lives

California has been leading the United States in a number of indicators, including mortality rates and patient satisfaction. It’s a clear indicator that, 20 years on, nurse-to-patient ratios are still saving lives. Gerard Brogan from the California Nurses Association talks about it in this episode of Nurse Talk.

Nurses in California Celebrate 15 Years of Life Saving RN to Patient Ratios LawNurse Talk has more:…

Posted by California Nurses Association on Wednesday, 9 January 2019

3. Nurse-to-patient ratios make work safer for nurses

It almost sounds too good to be true! Because of safer staffing levels, California has experienced a 30% drop in illness and injury within the nursing workforce. This is because of more manageable workloads and lower stress levels within the nursing workforce.

This win brought to you by proud union nurses.

Posted by California Nurses Association on Sunday, 9 December 2018

4. Nurse employment rises with mandated staffing ratios

With unemployment being a key issue, it’s never been more important for governments to consider job creation. Nurse-to-patient ratios led to a 15% increase in nurse employment in California after its implementation. That’s more jobs for more people, and more hands on deck in hospitals and facilities. It’s a triple win for nurses, patients and the economy!

Union strength keeps patents safe! This victory was brought to you by CNA union nurses.

Posted by California Nurses Association on Wednesday, 5 September 2018

5. Nurse-to-patient ratios improve nurse retention

Nurse-to-patient ratios doesn’t only save lives, it also makes financial sense. By reducing nurse burnout and turnover, hospitals can save from the expense and clinical disruption of having to constantly replace nursing staff.

Not only does safe staffing saves lives, it makes financial sense. Studies show that the cost of replacing one RN can…

Posted by California Nurses Association on Sunday, 6 January 2019

Nurses know that safe patient ratios make sense. It’s why they’re fighting for nurse-to-patient ratios across the board – in every ward, on every shift, city and country. Will you support them?

Show your support today: www.ratioslifeordeath.org.au


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