{"subscriber":false,"subscribedOffers":{}} California's Minimum-Nurse-Staffing Legislation And Nurses' Wages | Health Affairs

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California's Minimum-Nurse-Staffing Legislation And Nurses' Wages

  1. Barbara Mark ([email protected]) is a professor in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. David Harless is a professor of economics at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Joanne Spetz is an associate professor of nursing at the University of California, San Francisco.


In 2004, California became the first state to implement minimum-nurse-staffing ratios in acute care hospitals. We examined the wages of registered nurses (RNs) before and after the legislation was enacted. Using four data sets—the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, the Current Population Survey, the National Compensation Survey, and the Occupational Employment Statistics Survey—we found that from 2000 through 2006, RNs in California metropolitan areas experienced real wage growth as much as twelve percentage points higher than the growth in the wages of nurses employed in metropolitan areas outside of California.

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