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Proposed Nurse Staffing Levels Costly, Study Finds

July 27, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

An analysis of proposed staffing ratios of nurses to patients determined the changes could cost California hospitals millions of dollars, according to a study released Thursday.

The Public Policy Institute of California analyzed three proposed staffing ratios. In main medical and surgical wards, a ratio of one nurse to 10 patients is supported by hospitals, while a ratio of 1-to-4 is backed by the Service Employees International Union and Kaiser Permanente, the state's largest private health care system. A third proposal from the California Nurses Assn. suggests a 1-to-3 ratio.

The ratios could send hospital costs up for RNs by between 5% and 41%, according to the study.

At least 50% of California hospitals would have to make changes to conform to the new regulations, according to the analysis.

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