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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Center for Community Engagement


State Nursing Staffing Laws Related to Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs)

  • Author(s): Wong, Jasmine L.
  • et al.

High nurse to patient ratios have been problematic across the United States for nurse and patient outcomes. Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, which calls for “adequate numbers” of staffing, is ill-defined leading states to act. This research analyzes the various nurse staffing models that strive to achieve better patient outcomes. How do various state nurse staffing laws in acute care settings correlate with health outcomes regarding hospital acquired infections (HAIs)? There has been much research on the impacts of this law over time within California, and the literature is promising. This research suggests favorable patient outcomes with nurse empowered and directed staffing plans for specific units compared to laws that strictly enforced ratios for all hospitals, at all times, and under all circumstances.

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