Uncategorized (Page 2)

By Laura Sayles

MNA Government Affairs Specialist

With exactly two weeks left in the Legislative Session, there’s a lot left to accomplish in a short amount of time. None of the major spending bills have been ironed out and the parties that need to agree (House, Senate, and Governor) are far apart on their Session priorities. When looking through the overviews of the documents that will get us through the end of Session, the phrase “no comparable provision” is a common refrain.

 

Bonding bill – The Governor proposed funding $1.4 billion in projects; House Republicans, who haven’t yet released their bill, want around $600 million.
… Read more about: Behind the Scenes Look at the Capitol  »

By Megan Gavin

MNA Education Specialist

Why you should use some of your precious free time to attend an MNA education session

In the 1960s it was common practice for hospitals to charge nurses for breaking hospital property, which included glass vials of medication. Frustrated by low pay and practices such as this, a group of nurses successfully organized their co-workers to challenge this policy. Today the breakage clause, which states “it is not the policy of the hospital to charge nurses for breakage,” is one of the oldest sections in MNA contracts.

 

MNA has more than hundred years of history to learn from, ideas to copy, and people to emulate.
… Read more about: Why you should use some of your precious free time to attend an MNA education session  »

By Mathew Keller, RN, JD

MNA Nursing Policy and Practice Specialist

As this blog detailed last year, fears of a nursing shortage in Minnesota are somewhat unfounded. In fact, at the time, Minnesota was licensing more than three Registered Nurses for every new job opening in the state.

We’ve crunched the numbers once again this year, and it turns out the trend of licensing more RNs than there are jobs for continues. Add to this the fact that the number of job openings for RNs in the state actually decreased last year, and you have a recipe for plenty of competition over every available RN job.
… Read more about: Is There a Nursing Shortage? Part 2  »

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By Geri Katz

Single Payer Healthcare Specialist

 

Caring, compassion, and community. These are the values at the heart of registered nursing. National Nurses United, which represents some 190,000 nurses nationwide, seeks to uphold that positive vision for the health of this country by endorsing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president.

Senator Sanders was the only candidate to score 100 percent on NNU’s issue questionnaire: he’s the only candidate with us on safe and quality nurse staffing, universal healthcare or Medicare for all, and a fee on Wall Street speculation or the “Robin Hood Tax.” His campaign is exceeding expectations at nearly every turn.
… Read more about: Nurses4Bernie Get Out to Caucus  »

dangerousoccupations4Nurses won’t be surprised to hear another study that finds health care workers suffer more injuries than in any other sector in the United States.  Nurses know friends and colleagues who have lost work days and income to injuries, some who even had to give up their career of bedside nursing.  The corporate focus on the bottom-line puts more weight on our shoulders, literally, as we are told to “make do” without enough hands or resources to move a patient or perform a procedure.

The proof is in the numbers.  In 2011, injuries to healthcare workers went up 6 percent while construction and agriculture-related injuries actually went down. 
… Read more about: Healthcare workers continue to rank high on injured-on-the-job study  »

First there was the crowd.  Then there were the signs.  Then there were the red uniforms that adorned every man, woman, and child in the auditorium.  The scene was set for a champion sports team to walk in the room, but this huge crowd was there to see the contract negotiators.  When they entered the room, more than 225 nurses and their families cheered and applauded to show solidarity with their elected bargaining team at the Essentia-St. Mary’s contract talks and bid good morning to management’s team.  In the end, nurses won an agreement with management they could say is the result of  hard work by the negotiating team, but also because nurses showed Essentia that nurses are united and strong.
… Read more about: Crowd of Nurses Support Essentia Bargaining Team; Tentative Agreement Won in 33 Hr. Marathon  »

Solidarity 470 Registered Nurses at Mankato Mayo entered contract negotiations today as a united group determined to address troubling staffing issues at the hospital that members believe put patients at risk. Lead MNA negotiator David Nachreiner reflected the views of the mass of responses the team collected from colleagues throughout the hospital as he read the Opening Statement.

“My colleagues and I approach these negotiations with one primary focus.   We believe our patients – our families, friends and neighbors of this community – face unnecessary risk when they require the services of this hospital.  They face that risk primarily due to inadequate staffing and poor planning.
… Read more about: Mankato Nurses Boldly Begin Negotiations with Community Utmost in Mind  »

NOTES ON NURSING

More Proof:  Heart Patients Survive with Better Nurse Staffing    “This finding suggests that the correlation between cardiac arrest incidence and case survival was partly attributable to the hospital factors in the model,” the authors write. A hospital’s nurse-to-bed ratio and geographic region correlated with the greatest shift in the relationship between incidence and survival.

Moore MCHero Nurse Protects Newborn from Tornado   Miraculously, all the staff, patients and families survived the storm.  That includes nurse Cheryl Stoepker, who used her own body to protect a newborn she’d delivered barely an hour earlier.

LABOR UPDATES

UMass Nurses Poised to Strike if Today’s Negotiations Fail   Nurses at UMass Memorial’s University Campus are staging the 24-hour strike to draw attention to what they call deplorable patient conditions.
… Read more about: MNA NewsScan, May 22, 2013: More proof- heart patients survive with better nurse staffing  »

HEALTH CARE

Is the Future of American Health Care in Oregon?   “The governor has a notion that you can move away from medical billing and towards a more flexible approach to health-care spending that makes more sense for the community,” John McConnell, a health economist at Oregon Health and Science University, is telling me. Then he stops. “You’ve heard the air conditioner story, right?”

Medicaid Opposition Underscores States’ Health Care Disparities   Republican opposition in many statehouses to expanding Medicaid next year under President Obama‘s healthcare law — opposition that could leave millions of the nation’s poorest residents without insurance coverage — will likely widen the divide between the nation’s healthiest and sickest states.
… Read more about: MNA NewsScan, May 20, 2013: MN health care innovation cuts costs for the poor; poverty up in the suburbs  »