The state of California has delayed its new nursing staffing guidelines that were supposed to take effect with the start of the New Year. California became the first state to require minimum staffing levels after a bill was signed in 1999 by Governor Davis.
Unions representing nurses support staffing levels as high as one nurse for every three patients. The hospital industry has proposed guidelines as low as one nurse for every ten patients. Now it´s reported that setting the state guidelines will take a few more months, followed by a public comment period.
California ranked next-to-last in a March 2000 federal survey that measured the states´ ratio of nurses per 100-thousand residents. The national average was 782 nurses per 100-thousand residents, with California nursing numbers about two-thirds of the national average.