The California Nurse Staffing Mandate: Implications for Other States

The California Nurse Staffing Mandate: Implications for Other States

Linda H. Aiken

In 2004, California became the first state to implement minimum nurse-to-patient staffing requirements inacute care hospitals. It remains the only state to enact such requirements, although at least 18 states have introduced nurse staffing legislation. The goals of the legislation were to reduce nurse workloads, improve recruitment and retention of nurses, and improve quality of care. This Issue Brief summarizes the first comprehensive evaluation of the California mandate in achieving these goals.