Member Blog

By Chidinma Nwanekpe, RN, BSN, MPH

GAC Commissioner, Mental Health Nurse at St. Joseph’s

 

Working on my unit has exposed me to a lot of issues our mental health patients go through, but the most prominent one is homelessness.

For example, here’s a patient we’ll call “Mr. J.” Mr. J had been in the hospital for seven days when I arrived at work one day. In a mental unit, it’s not uncommon for patients to be reported as loud, upset, disrupting unit activity, and not heeding re-direction. Mr. J said he had been in the hospital for quite a while, didn’t know where to go after he was discharged because he was homeless.
… Read more about: Mental Illness and Homelessness: A Cry for Help  »

By Candy Matzke, RN

MNA Member, GAC Commissioner

 

January 19, 2019. It feels like last weekend and yet so far away! I was a proud MNA member who joined nurses from all over the country, as well as may other coalitions.  We were mainly women-oriented or justice-oriented activists, and I saw men there too with pink, feminist hats and t-shirts stating they were supporters of the movement of women and their causes.

 

Because of the shutdown, when I got to DC, there was no traffic.  There were no tourists visiting the Smithsonian. It was a strange feeling, until I saw my peeps, the NNU nurses, my fellow MNA nurses, the “Me too” movement, the Black Lives Matter folks, Planned Parenthood, my LGBTQ and IA Now folks (inclusion and unity). 
… Read more about: Women’s March in DC with NNU  »

By Alex Machlica, RN

United Hospital steward

 

For the past couple years, United Hospital’s management has been inconsistent in the use of sick leave for nurses’ paternity or maternity leaves. In some cases, management has allowed nurses to use sick leave for part of or all of their leaves; and in other cases, management has required nurses to use vacation leave in order to get paid from the first day.

 

Management has also denied new fathers any use of sick leave on the grounds that the contract only allows the use of sick leave for one’s own illness.
… Read more about: Paternity parity victory  »

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  »