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J Gerontol Nurs. 2005 Mar;31(3):9-15.

Nurse staffing in nursing homes in the United States: Part II.

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  • 1Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, California 94118, USA.


This study compared state minimum staffing standards with actual nurse staffing levels in nursing homes in each state. The actual nurse staffing levels in nursing homes were compared to the nurse staffing levels recommended by experts in 2000 and 2001. Data for the study came from primary data collected during a survey of state staffing standards and secondary data of actual staffing federal administrative from records. Actual nurse staffing levels in nursing homes were higher than state minimum standards, showing no evidence that minimum staffing standards become the average staffing level. When actual nurse staffing levels were compared with the minimum standards recommended in a federal report, 97% of all nursing homes had staffing levels below those considered safe. Considerable new federal and state resources are needed to bring the state staffing standards and the actual nursing home staffing levels up to the levels recommended by experts.

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