MNA Blog

Recent news and updates from the Minnesota Nurses Association.



By Eileen Gavin

MNA Political Organizer

I have a hard time choosing the right gift for certain occasions. Like a lot of people, I get lost in the hustle and bustle of holiday seasons, stressing over the perfect presents to buy my loved ones. Each year is difficult for me to buy the “right” Mother’s Day gift or birthday present for my brother or sisters. I get lost at the mall and find myself staring blankly at the shelves while I tell myself I have to buy something that will convey just right my love to the people who matter most to me.
… Read more about: A Reflection on Nurses Week  »

State Capitol

By Laura Sayles

MNA Government Affairs Specialist

With exactly two weeks left in the Legislative Session, there’s a lot left to accomplish in a short amount of time. None of the major spending bills have been ironed out and the parties that need to agree (House, Senate, and Governor) are far apart on their Session priorities. When looking through the overviews of the documents that will get us through the end of Session, the phrase “no comparable provision” is a common refrain.


Bonding bill – The Governor proposed funding $1.4 billion in projects; House Republicans, who haven’t yet released their bill, want around $600 million.
… Read more about: Behind the Scenes Look at the Capitol  »


By Geri Katz

MNA Healthcare Reform Specialist

While we all suffer from a lack of access in our fragmented, expensive, inefficient healthcare system, women at even greater disadvantage than American men. Healthcare’s high costs and drive for profits makes women, especially women of color, at a higher risk of unbearable medical bills and poorer health outcomes.

Women are much more likely experience periods of unemployment (and often a loss of health insurance) to care for family. At the same time, women’s specific health issues cause them to seek medical care more frequently, including pregnancy, childbirth, and higher rates of many chronic diseases.
… Read more about: Women and Equity  »

nurses week open house

By Barb Brady

MNA Communications Specialist

May 6-12 is a time to celebrate nurses and all nurses do for patients and their communities.

Nurses Week celebrations are planned throughout Minnesota, including an open house at the MNA office in St. Paul.

MNA nurses are sponsoring a wide variety of events, and businesses in some communities have special offers just for nurses.

MNA is holding an open house at the St. Paul office on May 11. . Enjoy exciting education sessions, food, and drawings – and meet other MNA nurses!
… Read more about: Honor and celebrate nurses during Nurses Week  »


By Megan Gavin

MNA Education Specialist

On April 7, we welcomed 430 student nurses and faculty members from thirteen different colleges and universities to the MNA Student Nurses Day on the Hill. The event began with a social hour giving students an opportunity to network with MNA member leaders representing diverse nursing areas such as mental health, psychiatric nursing, surgery, PACU, oncology, and pediatrics. MNA committee and commission members hosted tables on Governmental Affairs, Nursing Practice, and Education Commissions as well as the MNA Foundation, Universal Healthcare, and the Nurses Peer-to-Peer Support Network.

President Mary Turner gave a welcome and shared her personal journey of becoming a politically active nurse.
… Read more about: Student Nurses Day on the Hill 2016 Is A Smashing Success  »

Niki Gjere



By Mathew J. Keller, RN JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

When patients are at risk, nurses are the first line of defense. But what happens when hospital leadership isn’t listening to its nurses? That’s the dilemma Clinical Nurse Specialist and 2015 MNA “Social Justice” Award winner Niki Gjere faced in reporting her concerns of unethical and dangerous research practices to Fairview-Riverside leaders (a site for recruitment of research subjects for the U’s psychiatric department) and University administrators, as detailed in Part I.

I believe this unassuming nurse leader is not only credible but courageous.
… Read more about: Nurse Whistleblower Stays the Course in the Face of Increasing Pressure—Part II  »

Niki Gjere

Niki Gere

By Mathew J. Keller, RN JD

Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Clinical research is undoubtedly necessary to advance the field of medicine, but one would never expect that research to come at the cost of patients’ lives. The Minnesota Nurses Association is proud to support Clinical Nurse Specialist Niki Gjere, who continues to shine a light on unethical and even immoral psychiatric research practices at the University of Minnesota. Former Governor Arne Carlson calls this “the worst scandal I’ve seen since I’ve been in Minnesota.” Granted, this story has made the rounds in the news media, but, even so, nothing’s changed.
… Read more about: Nurse Whistleblower Stays the Course in the Face of Increasing Pressure—Part I  »

State Capitol

By Jon Tollefson

MNA Governmental Affairs Specialist

The 2016 Legislative Session has been underway for a little over one month now, and we are already close to the final stage: budget negotiations. With one of the shortest sessions in many years, the House and Senate have been moving quickly to finish work from last year on transportation and taxes, adjust government spending for this two-year period, and put together a bonding bill for major projects around the state.


When it comes to healthcare issues, the two political parties are putting forward two very different visions, and the Minnesota Nurses Association has something to say about it.
… Read more about: One Capitol, Two Views on How to Treat Patients  »


By Barb Brady

MNA Communications Specialist

MNA nurses in more than half of our bargaining units are presenting a united front as they negotiate contracts this year.

Nurses are fighting management attempts to cut hard-earned wages and benefits in communities throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. We are seeing hospital management in many hospitals seeking to cut or dismantle health insurance plans for our nurses.

Several bargaining units have agreed on new contracts, including Cook Hospital in Cook, Sanford Bagley Medical Center in Bagley, Chippewa County Montevideo Hospital and Medical Clinic in Montevideo, and Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, IA.
… Read more about: MNA Nurses Stand United During Contract Negotiations  »

Nurse Talking To Patient

By Mathew J. Keller, RN JDDSC_8097
MNA Regulatory and Policy Nursing Specialist

Those of us who collaborate with LPNs on a daily basis have come to respect their knowledge and experience in caring for patients. We know that LPNs are an important part of the patient care team. In fact, many MNA RNs started out as LPNs. That vital experience has proven to them that while both roles are valuable, they’re not interchangeable. Any facility that’s thinking of weathering any kind of storm by just staffing more LPNs will be inviting trouble and risk.

There are several differences in LPN vs.
… Read more about: Can LPNs Replace RNs?  »