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Facts On Nursing In California

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  • Have the Nurse:Pt. ratios brought more nurses back to the bedside?
    The California Nurses Association will tell anyone who listens that this is true.(They especially love touting this in other states across the country.) BUT, according to the latest Fact Sheet from Californians For Patient Care, more than 75% of hospitals rely on traveling and agency nurses to meet staffing mandates. If the ratios were bringing nurses back, there would be no need for hospitals to pay the increased costs of registries and travelers. Regular staff levels would be sufficient to meet the ratio law. About three quarters need overtime on a routine basis to cover staffing requirements. (Source: BRN RN Employer survey,December 2004 - quoted in article presented by Californians For Patient Care. Learn more about this positive and informative California organization on our links page.

  • Were all California Nurses angry with Governor Schwarzenneger during his term?
    No. The CNA would like all Californians to believe that but this was not accurate. Governor Schwarzenneger allocated new funding for nursing programs to aid in boosting our numbers. He was aware of the acute shortage of nurses in our state and appreciative of the important work we do. The majority of nurses in our state did not want to have nursing represented to the public as an angry group yelling at the Governor. We wanted the public to see us as professionals who will work with the Governor in a collaborative manner to improve healthcare for all Californians. We want our patients to know we will be there for them when they need the bedside, not out in the streets yelling and carrying signs.

If the nurse:pt ratios are bringing more nurses back to the bedside, why is California rated as dead last in RNs per capita?
California in the past year dropped from 49th to 50th in the number of RNs percapita, with more than 20% fewer nurses than the national average. 590 per 100,000 population, compared to 825 national average. The demand exceeds the supply and more nursing programs are needed but in many cases there are not enough faculty for nursing programs, therefore there are long waiting lists of potential students.

Does the California Nurses Association speak for all nurses in California?
No. There are over 300,000 Registered Nurses in the state of California and only 65,000 belong to the CNA.
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