Member Blog

By Shannon Paysse and Kyle Zelinske

MNA Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center Co-Chairs

 

When our SEIU colleagues at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd asked MNA nurses to support them over a costly change to their health insurance last year, we wasted no time assisting them.

 

Essentia Health’s decision to change health insurance in Brainerd put SEIU workers in a precarious position. Their contract contained a cap on how much the employer paid in premiums, something nurses had previously negotiated out of their contract. SEIU workers faced much higher family premium costs as a result of the change in health insurance.
… Read more about: MNA nurses have our union colleagues’ backs  »

By Jean Forman, RN

Chair, MNA Government Affairs Commission

Our 2019 Minnesota legislature has been sworn in! Thanks to many hours by engaged nurses on the phones and on the doors as well as countless conversations this past year, Minnesota voters have elected leaders who have set forth a “Top 10” values.

Agenda that includes:

  1. HF 1: The Great Start for All Minnesota Children Act
  2. HF 2: K-12 Student Support Legislation
  3. HF 3: MinnesotaCare Buy-In
  4. HF 4: Preventing prescription drug price gouging
  5. HF 5: Paid Family & Medical Leave and Earned Sick & Safe Time
  6. HF 6: Wage Theft prevention and enforcement
  7. HF 7: Rural broadband expansion
  8. HF 8: Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people through criminal background checks
  9. HF 9: Preventing gun violence through Extreme Risk Protection Orders
  10. HF 10: Protecting Minnesotans from sexual harassment.
  11. … Read more about: Minnesota Legislators Already Proposing Nurse Values-driven Policy  »

By Deb Meyer, RN
… Read more about: Be a Winner at the MNA Awards  »

Practice and Education Commissioner

Nurses are doing great things every day, and we need to recognize these nurses, which we do annually at the the Minnesota Nurses Association Honors and Awards banquet during the annual convention in October.  Every MNA member is eligible, and there are even awards for friends of MNA too.  All you have to do is nominate them.

 As you work side by side with your co-workers in the next few months, keep these awards in mind.  The President’s award is selected by the MNA President, but the remainder of the awards can be nominated by members. 

By Kathy Malecki, RN

Government Affairs Commissioner

 

In an effort of capturing and sustaining the energy and engagement achieved during the 2018 election cycle, the 22 groups compromising Our Minnesota Future (OMF) met to strategize on next steps. How do we understand people-centered governance, also known as co-governance? If we allow ourselves to “dream big,” what do we envision? Do we really need technocrats, think-tanks, and corporations to write policy and rules that affect us without really having all of us–the stakeholders–in the discussion?

If we believe, as OMF does, that “the people impacted by a problem should make the decisions, not those who profit from it,” we will need to dream big, to prepare ourselves with decision-making skills and tools, and to build for the long-term sustainability of this work which will affect generations to come. 
… Read more about: People-Centered Governance Conference with Our MN Future  »

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 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 Becky VonBank

MNA Member

 

As a nurse, many of us have a nurturing ability within us. During my years of nursing, I found that when I shared my acquired knowledge with others, I supported my colleagues’ growth. My passion to learn became deeper, my professional practice became stronger, and patients and their families received better care.

 

I returned to Creighton University in Omaha to achieve a higher level of autonomy in the nursing practice, support my passion for lifelong learning, and gain more knowledge to share with others. I will graduate in May 2019 with my Acute and Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, which might not have happened without receiving an MNA Scholarship. 
… Read more about: Scholarship Fund Supports Two New Nurses  »

From the MNA Board of Directors:

Safe staffing has been a top priority of MNA nurses for many years.

MNA nurses have fought for safe staffing levels at the bargaining table, in the Legislature, and with the public, with some successes.

However, short staffing remains a serious problem in Minnesota hospitals.

According to the MNA Concern for Safe Staffing Form annual report for 2017, an increasing number of nurses reported instances of short staffing. They reported that patients were harmed, or in the nurse’s professional opinion, patients did not receive the safe and quality care they required due to short staffing.
… Read more about: Vote to Invest in Safe Staffing  »

 

 

By  Jean Forman, RN

Chair, Government Affairs Commission

and Diane McLaughlin, RN

Government Affairs Commissioner

 

(Editor’s Note:  The following is the recommendation of the members of the Government Affairs Commission on a proposal that has not been adopted by the MNA Board or Membership.)

 

The MNA Convention is coming up quickly, October 6-8 in Minneapolis. We have so much important work to accomplish! We are writing as elected members of the Commission on Governmental Affairs (GAC) to gain your support for an important addition to MNA’s legislative platform regarding gun violence prevention and protection.
… Read more about: Support Our Platform on Gun Safety  »

From the MNA Board of Directors:

The MNA Board of Directors is hopeful it can increase funding in the following areas if members approve the dues structure change. While we would have to still determine exact amounts, the Board is committed to using the extra funding in the following ways:

1. Increase resources that can be used towards achieving safe staffing
2. Additional funds to be dedicated to the strike fund
3. Expand member resources related to defense of nurse’s legal and contractual rights whether through an arbitration or
administrative process
4 Establish a member release time budget for nurses interested in helping build the union by participating in various union campaigns, including contract, organizing, legislative, and electoral, which would allow them to do so without being economically impacted
5.
… Read more about: Yes to Invest  »