Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act

The Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act is a bill chief authored by Senator Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) and Representative Sandra Feist (DFL-New Brighton) to address the hospital short-staffing and retention crisis. The conditions that hospital CEOs have created are driving nurses away from the profession and hurting patient care. The Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act puts patients and workers before profits to fix the under-staffing and retention crisis while improving the quality-of-care patients receive at Minnesota hospitals. Learn more about the bill here and download the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Fact Sheet.

Nurse Licensure Compact

Instead of listening to nurses’ reasonable requests for conditions that would alleviate the staffing shortage the employers created, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and the Minnesota Board of Nursing (MBN) are instead moving forward with surveys and legislative pushes aimed at bringing the union-busting Interstate Nurse Licensure Compact to Minnesota.

Top 5 Reasons to say NO to the Nurse Licensure Compact:

  1. Puts patients at risk by allowing nurses from states with lower nursing standards and qualifications to practice in Minnesota.
  2. Transfers more power to an unelected, privately-run organization to make decisions over nurses’ standards, compensation and working conditions without public input or accountability.
  3. Used as a union-busting tactic by making it easier for hospitals to fill nurse positions with out-of-state nurses during a strike.
  4. Gives hospitals more excuses to not invest in safer staffing ratios, improved working conditions and higher compensation for Minnesota nurses.
  5. Takes resources away from Minnesota communities and workers.

Single-Payer Healthcare

MNA believes health care is a human right and that all Americans should have access to care without regard to their ability to pay.

Nurses see first-hand the devastating effects of illness and injury, not just on patients’ health but all too often on their finances as well. People cannot afford their premiums and deductibles, and it’s keeping them from seeing their doctors and receiving the care they need.

MNA supports a single-payer health care system that is publicly financed and privately delivered. This could be essentially a public insurance company or an improved Medicare for all. We are the only highly developed country in the world that does not guarantee health care as a human right. It’s time to take action to change that!

Support is growing for a sensible system that ensures everyone has access to quality, affordable healthcare.

April 20, 2018, standing-room-only Summit Panel of Minnesota Experts at St. John’s University. MNA Executive Director Rose Roach was a member of the panel discussing Healthcare for All.

Check out these editorials from the Des Moines Register, which won a 2018 Pulitzer prize for its healthcare editorials, including support for single-payer healthcare:

Here’s a video showing support for single payer in the labor family.

For more information, contact:

National Nurses United Medicare for All campaign

Physicians for a National Health Program

Workplace Violence Prevention

For too long, nurses have considered violence in the workplace “just part of the job.” Not any more.

In 2015, MNA worked with legislators and the Governor to pass a new law that requires all hospitals in Minnesota to develop plans to prevent violence before it happens, not just respond to it once it does.

Hospital administrators must work with bedside health care workers to develop, implement, and monitor these violence prevention plans. Hospitals must track incidents of violence so we know where we need to make changes. Violence is not part of the job, and we can work to prevent it.

In 2017, nurses continue to push for workplace violence prevention. On January 10, OSHA Administrator David Michaels granted National Nurses United’s petition to create a national workplace violence prevention standard.

Nurses from throughout the country, including Minnesota, testified at an OSHA public stakeholder meeting that day on the need for national workplace violence prevention regulations.

“My coworkers and I do not feel that we work in a safe environment due to the short staffing of nurses, and support personnel, such as sitters, orderlies, ward secretaries, and security personnel,” Sanford Bemidji Medical Center RN Nora Jordan told OSHA at the meeting. “We need a preparedness plan that includes all the necessary staff to subdue patients who become violent.  We need to have a plan that makes sure I can get the people I need to protect not just myself but my patients as well.  It’s even more important that the members of the preparedness team know what to do when they come to an incident. It should be mandatory that facilities have that plan and review it and rehearse it regularly, so we’re acting-not reacting to any situation.”

In 2018, the Minnesota Legislature is considering a bill that would equalize the penalty for assaulting a nurse or healthcare worker no matter where the assault occurs. Right now, the law only has a heightened penalty for assaults in emergency departments, but nurses know that violence occurs in every area of our hospitals and all too frequently. Representative Matt Grossell, a retired sheriff’s deputy, and Senator Karin Housley have introduced legislation to equalize the penalty for all areas of a hospital.

Anti-union attacks

Anti-union groups are continuously trying to undermine working people’s ability to join together in strong unions to build better lives for their families and communities.

Corporations and the wealthy want to silence people’s voices in the workplace so they have free rein to impose poor working conditions and take away workers’ rights. They are trying to rig the economy in their favor and increase their profits.

So-called “Right to Work” (RTW) laws and lawsuits are two of many tactics these groups use in hopes of undercutting unions. RTW takes away unions’ authority to ask people to pay for the rights and benefits that a union contract ensures, called fair-share fees. They falsely believe that people will not join unions and membership will fall, harming unions financially. MNA and other unions are working closely together to ensure working people in Minnesota will continue to have the ability to negotiate strong contracts and have a voice in the workplace.

These laws would have a direct impact on MNA nurses, who would lose their ability to advocate for patients without fear of retaliation. Employers could unilaterally impose staffing, compensation, and other cuts that eliminate the protections for patients that nurses fought for over many years.

You can find more information about these anti-union attacks, including a June 2018 U.S. Supreme Court case, here.

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