Skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Study Shows California’s Nurse Staffing Law Saves Lives

Audio

A new study finds California's landmark nurse staffing law saves lives. The University of Pennsylvania report concludes nurse staffing levels in California hospitals prevent deaths from common surgeries.

— A new study finds California's landmark nurse staffing law saves lives. The University of Pennsylvania report concludes nurse staffing levels in California hospitals prevent deaths from common surgeries.

The nurse-to-patient staffing levels took effect in California hospitals in 2004. Nurses in medical-surgical units are allowed to care for no more than five patients each.

Researchers compared patient outcomes in California with those in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2005 and 2006. They determined California would have had 410 more surgical deaths had nursing staffing levels been as low as in the other two states.

Nurse Geri Jenkins works at UCSD Medical Center. She says the report shows better staffing means better care.

"I think it's great that we have evidence to substantiate what nurses have known all along in their hearts," Jenkins says.

The study also shows California nurses have higher rates of job satisfaction than in other states.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.