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California Nursing Shortage, Made Worse by the Pandemic, Expected to Persist

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Nurses care for a coronavirus COVID-19 patient in the intensive care unit (I.C.U.) at Regional Medical Center on May 21, 2020 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California faces a shortfall of more than 40,000 full-time equivalent registered nurses, a gap that’s expected to last until 2026, according to a new UCSF report. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced experienced nurses to quit the field owing to exhaustion and burnout, and hospitals are struggling to fill positions. We’ll talk about the toll the staffing shortage is taking on nurses, patients and hospitals and how to mitigate it.


Joanne Spetz, director, Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies; director, UCSF Health Workforce Research Center

Kristen Hwang, health reporter, CalMatters

Maria Nuñez, ICU nurse at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood, CA.


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