California hospitals will be required to meet new nurse-to-patient staffing ratios starting at the end of this year, including strict requirements for burn and post-surgery patients.
The regulations were unveiled yesterday by state health regulators. They stem from a 1999 law that made California the first in the nation to mandate nurse-to-patient ratios for hospitals.
The Department of Health Services will take public comment on the regulations until July 17th.
Nurses say the regulations are a sensible way to improve patient care and working conditions for nurses. But hospital officials say the ratios will worsen the stateÂ´s current nursing shortage and warn it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to implement.