NURSE-TO-PATIENT RATIOS: Nurse Says Crisis Looms
California holds the "dubious" distinction of having the lowest nurse-patient ratio in the country, writes registered nurse Jean Chaisson in the Los Angeles Times. While the Legislature begins debate over a bill mandating "safe" nurse-patient ratios, Chaisson says the nursing profession is in crisis because of decreased staffing. "Cutbacks in the number of professional nurses who provide inpatient hospital care have led to a point of crisis. Nurses like myself live with the results of this crisis every day. ... Sadly, many have chosen to leave their profession rather than to provide inadequate care ... We have ample research to show that good nurse-to-patients ratios lead to better outcomes, and virtually none to suggest that limiting nursing care and substituting low-skill workers is safe for patients." She concludes: "Government must act to protect patients and to preserve the nursing care that their lives depend on" (7/19).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.