Another way to advocate for your patients and the nursing profession

By Jackie Russell

Jackie Russell RN, JD
MNA Nursing Practice and Regulatory Affairs Specialist

MNA Nursing Practice and Regulatory Affairs Specialist

MNA offers nurses many opportunities to expand your patient advocacy beyond the bedside by getting involved in your union at the bargaining unit, state, and national levels.

You can also speak up for patients in the public arena. MNA provides many avenues for you to help candidates who support nurse issues, and influence public policy through contacting your elected officials, participating in events like the Feb. 11-12 Day on the Hill, and testifying at hearings.

There’s another opportunity for nurses to advocate: serve on an advisory state board or commission involved in nursing or healthcare issues.

Have you thought about volunteering to apply for the Minnesota Board of Nursing, which oversees and assures the safe practice of nursing in the state?

Three MNA members currently serve on the Board of Nursing:

  • Joann Brown, Stevens Community Medical Center, Morris
  • Rui Pina, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis
  • Steve Strand, Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center, Duluth.

They say it’s a rewarding experience that promotes the nursing professional while protecting public safety.

All three strongly encourage MNA nurses to apply for open positions.

In addition to the Board of Nursing, there are quite a few commissions and boards that have open RN and labor positions as of November 27.

Openings for RNs:

  • Minnesota Board of Nursing;
  • State Advisory Council on Mental Health. The council makes recommendations to the Governor, Legislature and state departments on mental health policies, programs and services;
  • Rural Health Advisory Committee.The committee advises the commissioner of health and other state agencies on rural health issues;
  • Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators. The board licenses administrators of nursing homes, conducts studies of nursing home administration; approves continuing education programs for administrators; and investigates complaints and allegations of rule violations;
  • Medical Services Review Board. The board advises the Department of Labor and Industry on medical matters relating to workers’ compensation, makes determinations on inappropriate, unnecessary or excessive treatment, and issues penalties for violation of rules following a contested case procedure.

Openings for a representative of labor:

  • Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Council.  The council advises the Department of Labor and Industry on administration of the state Occupational Safety and Health Act;
  • Rehabilitation Review Panel. The panel advises the Department of Labor and Industry on rehabilitation matters relating to workers’ compensation and may issue penalties for violation of rules following a contested case hearing;
  • State Rehabilitation Council. The council is responsible for advising state government on the performance of Minnesota’s Vocational Rehabilitation programs.

If you’re interested in serving your profession and patients on one of these groups, please contact MNA Political Organizer Cameron Fure at 651-252-5028 or Please note openings change frequently.