Nurse staffing study predicts California mandate would save lives elsewhere

Joe Carlson, Modern Healthcare, April 20, 2010 If nurses in New Jersey enjoyed the nurse-patient staffing ratios seen by their colleagues in California, researchers estimate that the Garden State might have seen 14% fewer surgical deaths in 2006, according to predictive modeling in a new study of nurse-patient ratios. The study, “Implications of the California nurse staffing mandate for other states,” published today in the journal Health Services Research, finds that the nurse-to-patient ratios enacted by law in California in 2004 have had the effect of decreasing nurse burnout and lowering turnover and the number who reported that workloads caused them to miss changes in patient conditions. ... Nurse