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Study: More nurses, less death

Philadelphia Inquirer, April 20, 2010

Ten to 13% fewer surgical patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania would die if hospitals in those states had as many nurses as California law requires, according to a University of Pennsylvania study. The study of 1.1 million patients in 2005 and 2006 found that the nurse-to-patient ratios mandated in California could have saved the lives of 468 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania over a two-year period. Linda Aiken, who led the study and directs the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research at Penn, said improved nurse staffing likely could save "many thousands a year" nationally.