California’s Response to the Nursing Shortage Might Not Help
The "political response" to California's nursing "challenge" only will "make matters worse," a Sacramento Bee editorial states. The state is experiencing a staffing shortage, the supply of new nurses is not keeping up with retirements, there are too few open spaces in training programs and the flow of nurses from other states has slowed. Through a new law dictating nurse-patient ratios, the state is trying to "micromanage hospital care," the editorial maintains, adding that no other state has attempted to impose such ratios. The state Department of Health Services "seems clueless how to act" in the situation, the editorial adds. Current research "provides no sure guide" on what staffing levels result in the best care, the editorial points out. Regardless of "whatever staffing rules the state adopts," hospitals will be "hard-pressed" to fill the 16% of nursing positions that are "vacant" around the state. Policy makers and health care leaders have the "challenge of making what is good for today's nurses good for consumers, too," the editorial surmises (Sacramento Bee, 7/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.