The California Nurses Association has launched its own statewide campaign to monitor and enforce the nation's first nurse-to-patient ratio staffing law, which took effect Jan. 1. The effort includes, among other things, assigning nurse monitors to every hospital unit to document violations of the required ratios. The union said would it take "additional steps" when hospitals fail to comply with the law and cited as an example a large public protest it held Monday in front of Sutter Solano Medical Center, Vallejo, Calif. A CNA-backed measure that would have imposed strict penalties on hospitals for violating the ratios died on the state Assembly floor last year. The California Healthcare Association has long argued that the national nurse shortage has made it nearly impossible for hospitals to fully comply with the new law, which requires hospitals to maintain at least one nurse to every six patients in general medical wards and one nurse to every two patients in intensive-care units at all times. The CHA on Dec. 30 filed a lawsuit challenging the requirement that the ratios be maintained when nurses take breaks or go on lunch. -- by Laura B. Benko
Calif. nurses union says it will monitor staffing
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