Many hospital administrators say because of the nationwide shortage, they just can't find enough nurses to comply with a new law that requires one nurse for every five patients.
Jan Emerson, Spokeswoman for the California Hospital Association says in some cases, hospitals are reducing services.
"They've had to shut beds down. They've had to increase waiting times in their E-R's."
Critics of the ratio argue California's hospitals need to find as many as four thousand nurses, at a cost estimated at 400 million dollars a year.
The California Nurses Association said the new requirement will make hospitals safer and has accused administrators of exaggerating the difficulty in finding nurses.