Member Blog

By Sue Kreitz, RN

Board Member, Member of CARN

I know I’m not the only one in horror watching the situation of our colleagues in places, including Italy and Spain, who are dealing with during this pandemic. I think one of the most heartbreaking stories I’ve heard is that a doctor describing how he had to make decisions about who gets the life-sustaining treatments with ventilators and who doesn’t. Just last week, the Washington Post had an article about hospitals considering placing Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders on COVID-19 patients. Unfortunately, this could become real for us in the USA.

This morning I was listening to a program discussing ethics in the time of a pandemic and what this means for our health and society.
… Read more about: COVID-19 PANDEMIC: HOW CAN WE HELP?  »

I’m writing this in the hopes that this will cut through some of the noise. As nurses, I feel it is our role to educate the public, especially in times like this. What I’m about to say is not intended to scare you or make you panic. It’s to help you understand the gravity of the issue that faces us, and to keep you well-informed. In fact, my hope is that, instead of fear and panic, you feel more knowledgeable than you did before reading this. And with that knowledge, my hope is that you will act responsibly, effectively, and with caution. This is especially for people who tune out the news, know others that aren’t taking this seriously, or believe that we are over-reacting.
… Read more about: An Open Letter to the Public on the Coronavirus, from an ICU Nurse  »

MNA members are understandably concerned about their financial situation and how market volatility is potentially affecting their financial plans during the COVID-19 crisis. We encourage members with financial questions to take advantage of the free services available through the MNA Financial Wellness Program and Dorval & Chorne Financial advisors.

Daniel Dorval, CFP, President and CEO of Dorval & Chorne Financial Advisors reached out to let MNA members know program is available during this crisis:

“Nurses serve on the front lines of dealing with infectious diseases. We are so thankful for their duty in helping to keep all of us healthy.
… Read more about: Take advantage of the MNA Financial Wellness Program during the COVID-19 crisis  »

The upcoming Minnesota presidential primary is a chance for MNA nurses to have their voices heard to elect the next president and to bring nurse priorities that protect patients and the profession into the voting booth. In 2016, legislation passed to make Minnesota a presidential primary state for the first time since 1992. Only the two major parties of the state, DFL and Republican, will participate in this primary this year.

While MNA does not endorse candidates on the national level, NNU’s elected national leadership, representing 150,000 registered nurses in all 50 states, has a comprehensive process that is intended to emphasize extensive involvement of its leadership and NNU members.
… Read more about: Have you made your plan to vote in the MN presidential primary by March 3?  »

The Minnesota Wild held a Salute 2 Scrubs night on Monday, January 20, to honor the work healthcare providers do to keep the State of Hockey strong and healthy. MNA nurses attended to represent the nursing profession and have a little fun while supporting MNAF.

MNA member Linda Jessen-Howard of St. Joseph’s Hospital received recognition for her volunteer work with National Nurses United’s RN Response Network (RNRN) deployment to the Bahamas in response to the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. She also started the game with a spirited “Let’s play hockey!”
All attendees who purchased tickets through a special link received a gift bag, raffle prizes, and the opportunity to go on to the ice after the game for a photo.
… Read more about: MNA nurses and other healthcare providers go Wild  »

‘Why not me?’

By Racial Diversity Committee member Dr. Ngozi F. Mbibi, DNP, RNC-OB, FWACN, FAAN

Welcome to the MNA Racial Diversity Committee’s first blog post.

Our committee is only a few months old. We started as a new Racial Diversity Task Force in 2017. (MNA had a similar task force and a work group in the early 2000s.) In 2018, the House of Delegates saw the importance of continuing and expanding our work, and decided we should be a standing committee. Members were appointed at the January 16, 2019, Board of Directors meeting.

We have been meeting monthly ever since and are working on some major projects.
… Read more about: ‘Why not me?’  »

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  »