By Emily Sippola, RN

MNA Member, United Hospital Tri-Chair

Months after the 2016 Allina strike, MNA nurses at United Hospital were surprised to find that the employer had unilaterally decide to change the calculation for our sick leave incentive bonus, which rewards nurses for not using sick time.

In May 2017, Allina decided to not count the hours United Hospital nurses were on strike toward “Regularly Scheduled Hours” and provided our sick time incentive bonus based on a lower number of hours nurses worked.

Nurses quickly filed a grievance based on the fact that the contract provides for upgrading Regularly Scheduled Hours based on additional hours worked but does not provide for downgrading based on hours on strike.
… Read more about: United Hospital nurses celebrate grievance victory over sick leave incentive  »

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 Julie Anderson, RN

GAC Commissioner

As nurses, we nurture, heal, care, and advocate—unless we’re talking about ourselves. We continually ignore the warnings of “put your own oxygen mask on before you apply someone else’s.”  We run trauma rooms while barely breaking a sweat. We face hostile patients, family, and coworkers and calmly de-escalate, redirect, and reassure everyone with a smile on our faces.  Still, what is the cost of continually putting others’ needs before your own?  Oftentimes going from one crisis to another barely able to take a deep breath, let alone debrief on what just happened and how it will affect us later on.
… Read more about: Nurses Need Care Too  »


By Jackie O’Shea

MNA Political Organizer

Elections are the root of our democracy, and saying 2018 is going to be a hectic year politically is an understatement. In Minnesota, there are open races for Governor and Lieutenant Governor; statewide races for Attorney General, Auditor, and Secretary of State and a US Senator; eight U.S. Congressional races, and 134 seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives all up for re-election this year. Plus, other important local races, including city council seats, school board commissioners, and county elected positions are up for grabs.


Electing nurse champions is the important first step towards the main goal of our political organizing, which is passing legislation.
… Read more about: Holding Our Democracy Accountable  »

By Diane Scott, RN

MNA Member

We all know the stories. A mom couldn’t get her son to the right specialist because it was out of the hospital’s “network.” Another mom couldn’t get occupational or physical therapy for her daughter without having to fight like hell to get it. How many times have MNA nurses cried at work and heard the stories of their long fights with their employer because their children could not get the healthcare they deserve? What about the non-contract employees and patients who can’t fight?

On October 24, 2017, MNA decided to fight back. We filed a second step class action grievance on behalf of all Registered Nurses working at Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota Bemidji.
… Read more about: The Union Difference  »

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher

A common misconception about nonprofit hospital finance is that, unlike publicly traded corporations, they are not responsible to shareholders or investors. In fact, many hospital expansion and construction projects are funded by investors through the use of municipal bonds. Municipal bonds are not unlike loans from the public. Hospitals work through municipal entities such as cities and counties to issue bonds for public purchase.

A bond is a type of debt investment. This means that an investor or bondholder loans money to an entity (typically corporate or governmental) for a defined period of time at a variable or fixed interest rate.
… Read more about: Municipal Bonds and Nonprofit Hospitals  »

By Tara Fugate

MNA Strategic Researcher


Something that still manages to shock a lot of people in the US is the growing number of similarities between nonprofits and for-profit hospitals. In 2013, 7 of the 10 most profitable hospitals in the country were classified as nonprofit. A 2013 study published in Health Affairs, examined factors contributing to hospital profitability. The study examined data from Medicare Cost Reports submitted by 2,993 acute care hospitals and produced a list of the top ten hospitals in the country with the highest profit from patient care (for fiscal year 2013).
… Read more about: Your Guide to the World of Nonprofit Finance-part 1  »

By Rick Fuentes

MNA Communications Specialist


There’s an old joke, “what’s the definition of a conservative?  A liberal who got mugged.  What’s the definition of a liberal?  A conservative who lost his job.”  More true than funny, it shows us how we cling to our political beliefs until something happens to us.  Case in point, this country music guitarist who has publicly admitted he was wrong on gun ownership.  He’s not alone.  We get sick, we want good healthcare.  We have kids, we want good schools.  We experience a shooting, we want gun control.  Conversely, when we don’t experience a shooting, we look the other way.
… Read more about: Making Sense of the Nonsensical  »

By Sara Wahto, RN

MNA Member


As if Nurses and other health professionals don’t have enough to worry about with long hours, no breaks, and assaults. Now we also have to worry about unintentional exposure and a possible overdose death. Carfentanil, an analog of synthetic opioids used for large animals, including elephants, is 10,000 times as strong as morphine, and it’s out on the streets and being mixed with multiple other drugs such as heroin. Normally, a nurse or any healthcare worker wouldn’t think that he or she would be in danger of something drug users use to get high, but, unfortunately Carfentanil in a powder form only takes 2 grains the size of a salt grain to cause death.
… Read more about: Lions and Tigers and Nurses and Elephants  »

By Juli Uzlik, RN

MNA Member

It’s amazing how just the smallest change can have the biggest effects on registered nurses and their patients.  At my hospital, Fairview Southdale in Edina, a temporary nursing consultant came in and decreased the staffing in the Heart Center by one nurse per shift. The hospital has taken away one charge nurse where there have been two since the inception of the unit.

Not a big deal, right?  Still have a charge nurse.  Not really.  The Heart Center is laid out in two separate sections with literally a wall and a hallway between the two sections. 
… Read more about: Brain Drain  »