California's Safe Staffing Law: How Many Nurses Is Enough?

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California hospitals claim that a shortage of nurses may close down entire units, producing back-ups at emergency rooms. The Nurses Association accuses the hospitals of manufacturing a crisis when one doesn-t really exist. It's all about a new law, one that will make California the first state in the nation to require that hospitals maintain specific minimum ratios for registered nurses. Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors asked Governor Schwarzenegger to intervene. We hear from hospitals and nurses in the argument that could effect healthcare in California as soon as January of next year.
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    On July 16, 86-year old George Weller drove his car at high speed through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, killing 10 people and injuring many more. Yesterday, the preliminary investigation by the California Highway Patrol concluded that Weller was responsible. What took them so long? Former LA County Deputy District Attorney Steve Meister says it's a lengthy process to sort through seemingly obvious conclusions and issues of civil and criminal liability.
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Preliminary CHP report (LA Times story)

Safe Staffing Bill (AB 394)

Institute of Medicine's report on patient safety



Warren Olney


Frances Anderton