MNA Blog

Recent news and updates from the Minnesota Nurses Association.

By Sarah Simons, RN; and Kathy Everson, RN,  Janell Johnson Thiele,  MNA HCMC Tri-Chairs

When you know something is wrong, it’s worth a fight. Earlier this year, we saw that management was violating the contract in calculating annual wage increases and decided to correct that wrong.

The hospital was basing the calculations on a rolling 365-day year instead of a calendar year as required by the contract.

Our visiting nurses, who became part of MNA in 2016 and were directly affected,  first noticed the discrepancy in their paychecks and alerted us.

When we pointed out the issue and told management that the contract clearly called for basing the increases on the calendar year, HCMC claimed nurses agreed to the rolling 365 days in the past.
… Read more about: Nurse tenacity results in HCMC agreeing to correct faulty wage increase process  »

Allina big debt

By Rick Fuentes

MNA Communications Specialist


Ok, check-ups aren’t fun.  Not because of what they might find but because what they might ask.  Who wants to admit they thought mac and cheese was a food group?  Still, they keep us healthy, even financially.


MNA members receive free counsel with Dorval and Chorne Financial Advisors.  This is not a small benefit or something to take for granted.  Most financial planners charge about $200 an hour for their advice, or, if they invest on your behalf, they take 1 percent of your proceeds as compensation. 
… Read more about: Get a Check-Up! A Financial One!  »

Barbara Forshier, RN, BSN, JD

MNA Member


Editor’s Note:  The Author is an Attorney for Nurses


Nurses frequently ask me whether or not they should have their own professional liability insurance. The answer is yes, you should carry your own insurance. You insure your home, your car, your health, why would you not insure your ability to practice your profession, your livelihood? Some nurses “have heard” that if you carry malpractice insurance you are more likely to be sued in a medical malpractice case. This is not true.

Now, you may ask, what about my employer, don’t they cover me?
… Read more about: To Have or Not to Have Malpractice/Liability Insurance  »

By Jackie Russell

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.
… Read more about: Another way to advocate for your patients and the nursing profession  »

big pharma

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

The vast majority of hospitals in Minnesota operate as not-for-profit organizations, which means they are exempt from most local, state, and federal taxes. This privileged tax status is meant to be an acknowledgement of the “community benefits” they provide. However, the definition of community benefit is loose, and guidelines on appropriate levels of community benefit spending are sparse both federally and at the state level.

In Minnesota, there is no law that specifically requires not-for-profit hospitals to provide measurable community benefits.[1] There is, however, a state level reporting requirement on community benefit spending that has existed since 2007.
… Read more about: What is Community Benefit Spending And Why Does It Matter for Not-For-Profit Hospitals?  »

By Becky Nelson, RN

MNA Member


Our lives can change in just one day: My life changed the day I married my college sweetheart, the day I moved into my dream house, the day I passed my boards and became a nurse, and the days I gave birth to my beautiful children.


My life also changed the day we lost our home in Hurricane Katrina, the day my husband got laid off a week after our second child was born, and the day I learned that my mother has stage IV cancer. That was the same day I was told her treatment would cost $10,000 a month.
… Read more about: Who We Elect Matters  »

By Megan Gavin

MNA Education Specialist


Here in Minnesota we are rightly focused on the elections that will decide the direction of our state for decades to come. We are working hard to elect pro-union leaders who will protect the right to collectively bargain contracts. In Minnesota and across the country, healthcare has become the number one issue for voters.  Costs continue to skyrocket; high deductible insurance plans drain more and more of individual families’ hard-earned money; and politicians continue to threaten protections for pre-existing conditions. The state of healthcare is not sustainable, and we need to demand change that puts the patients at the center.
… Read more about: Call ALL your friends in Massachusetts and tell them to Vote Yes on Question 1!  »

The Minnesota Nurses Association vehemently condemns the series of violent, hate-fueled attacks across the nation this weekend. We grieve for the dead, the wounded, their loved ones, and their communities in mourning. No one should be forced to live in fear because of the color of our skin, their nation of origin, or their faith. Hatred and violence cannot have a place in America, and nurses are committed to working together with our partners, allies, and communities to put a stop to the hate and violence that is becoming all too commonplace in our state and our nation. We call on our elected leaders, regardless of affiliation, to stand with us as we work together to build a better future.
… Read more about: Minnesota Nurses Association condemns recent acts of violence across the U.S.  »

By Katie Gjertson

MNA Political Coordinator


It is a difficult time to be an apolitical TV watcher this time of year. Our TV and airwaves are flooded with unprecedented levels of political advertising and negativity seems to be at its peak. To lighten things up, I am sharing the best ads I’ve seen across the country that inspire and delight.

An important note that the Minnesota Nurses Association does not endorse any of these candidates.

Click to go to videoClick to go to video

 “Do It for Gerald’s Family”

In this ad, family members make an earnest plea for voters to send Travis County Commissioner in Texas back to work.
… Read more about: Now for Something Completely Different: Inspiring and Delightful Political Ads  »

By Julie Anderson, RN

Governmental Affairs Commissioner


There is a lot at stake in the upcoming midterm elections. Like many other nurses, I was excited to find out that a fellow nurse and an inspiring leader, Erin Murphy, was running for governor. I thrusted myself into the campaign and volunteered with the Nurses for Erin campaign. I did phonebanks, door knocks, attended meetings, had face to face interactions, attended the DFL convention as a delegate, and, of course, I voted for Erin for Minnesota governor in the primaries. After the primary went the other way without Erin Murphy representing the DFL on the ballot, I suddenly found myself asking “what now?” I realized, though, that my work was far from over.
… Read more about: Newly Political Nurse Now Permanently Active  »