Member Blog

By John Welsh, RN, Chair, MNA Governmental Affairs Commission

Getting help to nurses who have student debt remains a priority for MNA during the 2024 legislative session.

Graduation cap and Student loan forgiveness on page.

Last year, MNA nurses and staff were able to secure $10 million for loan forgiveness for hospital nurses, and we hope to double that amount during the current session, which will end by May 20.

There are no reliable statewide statistics on the debt held by nurses in Minnesota, but we know it is significant. When the state asked nurses in previous loan forgiveness programs how much debt they had, the average was $40,000.
… Read more about: Prioritizing RN Student Loan Forgiveness  »

If you’re a nurse at a Twin Cities hospital, it’s likely you’ve heard about your MNA Twin City Pension Plan. And whether you’ve heard of it or not, that doesn’t mean you don’t have questions about it. What is the pension plan? What are the benefits? How can I learn more? Let’s dig in! 

After years of attempts at negotiating and finally arbitration, the Minnesota Nurses Association and Twin City hospitals established the nation’s first multi-employer pension plan in 1962. The plan is a “Defined Benefit” pension plan that is negotiated and jointly administered. Participating employers include Allina, Children’s, Fairview-HealthEast, Methodist, and North Memorial.  
… Read more about: The Twin Cities Pension Plan   »

By Deb Meyer, RN, MNA Governmental Affairs Commissioner

On October 24, I was invited to join a round table with the United States Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Jonathan Kanter. As an MNA Governmental Affairs Commissioner, this was an opportunity to continue in my leadership role and explain how corporatization affects Minnesota communities. It was an awesome experience!

Small business owners, farmers and a variety of other people told their stories. He really listened to everyone. My focus was on the Sanford/Fairview merger and how Worthington Regional Hospital changed after it was bought by Sanford. 
… Read more about: The corporatization of our communities: How nurses can speak out and make change  »

By Cassie Snodgrass, RN, MNA Elections Committee Chair

MNA is YOU! You are what makes MNA a union – for nurses, made up of nurses, and led by nurses! Have you thought about running for a leadership position at MNA? There are so many benefits – it gives you a chance to shape policy and organization-wide positions. Do you feel strongly about setting the direction MNA is taking and establishing yearly goals or legislative priorities? Serving in a union leadership position will make your voice even more prominent and help sharpen your interpersonal and communications skills.

Consider serving in an MNA organization-wide leadership position on one of the following bodies:

  • Board of Directors
  • Commission on Governmental Affairs
  • Commission on Nursing Practice and Education
  • Elections Committee
  • Council of Active Retired Nurses (CARn) Leadership
  • MN AFL-CIO Delegate

Even if you don’t win, you’ll gain valuable insight and skills that could help you in your work and interpersonal relationships.
… Read more about: Running for MNA leadership – an experience you won’t regret!  »

Written by Mary Kirsling, Retired RN from Essentia Health – St. Mary’s Duluth, Member of Honors & Awards Committee

I have been a member of the MNA Honors and Awards Committee for several years. While I have served on many committees, this is my favorite. We have the privilege of learning about nurses who excel–individuals who mentor, inspire, encourage, lead, educate, and innovate. As a previous recipient, I cannot overstate how thrilling it is and how much it means to receive one of these awards. Most recipients are unaware of the difference they make, and recognition from peers is one of the best honors to receive.
… Read more about: Minnesota Nurses Association Honors & Awards  »

by Rachel Hanneman, RN

Being a nurse these days is unrelenting. The expectation to multitask has long since been normalized as an expectation and, as family demands continue to mount, finding “extra” time for additional hobbies shrinks like your favorite jeans in the dryer.

Between working full time, parenting two young children with busy activities, and trying to maintain a work-life balance of personal needs, the request to volunteer seemed downright illogical to me. Asking me to commute to the MNA office to phone bank and be back in time to pick my kids up from the bus stop while spending money on gas?
… Read more about: Electing nurse-endorsed candidates—from the couch!  »

Hello fellow MNA members. My name is Peter, and I am a volunteer for MNA’s phonebanks.

What does that mean? I spend about three hours a week going down to the MNA office to make calls to other MNA members. I do this with several other nurses and our goal is to reach out to membership with an important message. Currently, that message is the importance of the upcoming midterm elections on November 8 and how it affects nursing. Most importantly, please get out there and vote!

Now that you know what I do, I have to be completely honest with you—it’s the last thing I ever thought I would be doing!
… Read more about: From rutabaga festivals to MNA phonebanks  »

Frazier recognized alongside MNA nurse members honored for their outstanding efforts 


(St. Paul) – November 12, 2021 – Last evening, State Representative Cedrick Frazier was honored by nurse members of the Minnesota Nurses Association with MNA’s 2021 Public Official Award. Rep. Frazier was recognized at a virtual ceremony alongside six nurse members honored with awards for their outstanding service over the last year. 

In nominating Rep. Frazier for the award, one MNA nurse member wrote: “His passion and advocacy for workers – especially essential workers coming out of this pandemic – has only grown as we have worked together to pass our priority legislation…Rep.
… Read more about: Rep. Cedrick Frazier Honored with 2021 Public Official Award by Minnesota Nurses Association   »

By Marcia Swanson, RN, Essentia Health Duluth/MDMC

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the 2021 MNA Convention went virtual. With a very full agenda for the House of Delegates, we knew we had our work cut out for us.

Sunday included education in the morning, and the afternoon brought us the Legislative Forum and a session for questions on proposed Bylaws and Resolutions.

Spirited conversations were had in the educations that included Commitment to Antiracism, Moral Suffering, and White Privilege and Racism as well as three NNU talks on Endangerment of Nurses & Patients, Queering Care and an update on COVID-19.
… Read more about: 2021 MNA Convention Recap  »

By Chris Rubesch, RN, MNA First Vice President

The landscape of healthcare is changing rapidly and healthcare workers and patients often see and feel the effects of those changes acutely. Recently, the corporatization and consolidation of hospital systems has resulted in the closure of facilities and reduction of services around the region. This issue was most acute this winter with the closure of St. Joe’s Hospital by the HealthEast system. Throughout this process, MNA members were among the loudest voices advocating for the best interests of their patients and communities.

After the closure, we heard from members wanting to conduct a root cause analysis to look at MNA’s response and help us plan for similar future situations.
… Read more about: A Call to Action: Responding to Hospital Closures  »