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Facts about nurse staffing and patient safety at UC medical centers

The safety of our patients and the well-being of our nurses are of utmost concern at all UC medical centers. UC medical centers are known for delivering excellent patient care, and we know that depends on safe staffing levels and a healthy workforce.

Ensuring safe staffing levels and safe patient handling

  • All UC medical centers meet — and in many cases exceed — California’s legally mandated nurse-to-patient staffing ratios. California has the most stringent staffing ratios in the country, and the California Nurses Association is lobbying for federal legislation that is modeled after California’s law.
  • UC medical centers are routinely surveyed by the Joint Commission, which certifies health care organizations across the country based on their ability to provide safe and effective patient care.
  • Each UC medical center is in compliance with the state’s regulations on patient lifting and transportation.
  • Additionally, the current UC-CNA contract requires that each UC medical center maintain a lift policy for all patient care units, and provide lift training for employees.

UC medical centers are consistently rated high for patient care

UC medical centers are known worldwide for exceptional treatment of patients, and are consistently recognized as being among the best in the country — highlights include:

  • US News & World Report — whose rankings assess nurse staffing and patient safety — consistently rates UC medical centers among the best hospitals in the country. The 2017–18 report rated UCSF #5 nationally and UCLA #7. All five UC medical centers are in the top 11 in California.
  • All five medical centers have been designated Magnet hospitals by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, a distinction that recognizes nursing excellence.
  • For years, UC Davis has won the Consumer Choice Award for best overall quality and reputation among all hospitals in its region.
  • UC Irvine, UCLA, UCSF and UC San Diego received A’s in the Spring 2017 Hospital Safety Grade, all with scores of 100 percent on nurse staffing levels.

Local processes for addressing staffing issues at every UC medical center

UC medical centers have established protocols to help ensure staffing issues and concerns are discussed in a timely manner with CNA, and addressed proactively and in ways that are appropriate to each unique hospital environment.

Nurses want to work at UC

  • Despite the current nursing shortage, on average UC medical centers receive approximately 16 applicants per each nurse vacancy.
  • Nurse retention rates at UC medical centers are very strong compared to other California hospitals. UC retention rates range from 90 to 95 percent.

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