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Nurses Fighting State by State for Minimum Staffing Laws

How many nurses does it take to run a hospital?

Legislatures in at least seven states and the District of Columbia are trying to answer that question as they debate bills that would require hospitals to have a minimum number of nurses on staff at all times.

So far, only one state has such a law. California’s state legislature passed a minimum nurse staffing law in 1999. Since then, similar nurse staffing laws have failed in every other state where they were proposed.

But the nursing unions backing the bills have grown increasingly powerful in statehouses across the country.