Top Legislative Issues

What are nurses fighting for at the Capitol in 2024?

As patient care advocates, it is only natural for nurses to be advocating for patients in multiple arenas. From advocating for patients at the bedside to the bargaining table to the Capitol, nurse voices ensure that the nursing profession continues to be held to high standards of care so that patients can receive the safe, high-quality care they deserve. While nurses are at the bedside and know what patients need, highly paid hospital executives are the ones making decisions around nurse staffing and patient care conditions based on the hospital’s bottom line.

We know that patient care should always come before profits of hospital executives. And hospital executives, in protecting their bottom line, are also showing up to the Capitol to pass legislation that will benefit their corporate policies—not patient care. This is why nurses showing up to the Capitol is vital in fighting for patient-centered legislation.


The legislation below is part of the Healing Greed Agenda, introduced by MNA nurses at the Capitol on February 5, 2024.


HEAL Act – Healthcare Employee Anti-Retaliation and Labor Act

As hospitals continue to make profit-driven decisions that result in unsafe staffing with impacts on the quality of care, patients need nurse advocacy more than ever. The HEAL Act will help protect nurses and other healthcare workers from retaliation for responding to an unsafe assignment. When hospitals cut staffing levels, care conditions worsen for patients. And when nurses raise these concerns, they often face retaliation.

Retaliation can come in many forms, from unfair scheduling or being denied leave, to being sent home without pay, and even discriminatory treatment and termination. This bill would hold hospitals accountable for safe patient care by codifying protections against healthcare workers when they advocate for their patients.

Workplace Violence bill

When hospitals cut staffing to save their bottom line, the risk of violence goes up for healthcare workers and patients. As hospitals are one of the most dangerous places to work in Minnesota, nurses continue to flee from the bedside, further exacerbating the staffing crisis. To retain nurses at the bedside, hospitals must be held to standards that address violence in our hospitals. Our bill will help prevent violence in hospitals with an approach centered on trauma-informed care and de-escalation, keeping patients and nurses safe.

When hospitals force nurses to work under unsafe conditions, it not only puts patient care at risk, it also makes nurses vulnerable to being sued or losing their professional license. This bill will also make hospital executives, not nurses, responsible for the unsafe staffing decisions executives make.

Hennepin County Medical Center bill

Publicly owned hospitals have a special responsibility to provide equitable care to our communities, and they must retain skilled staff to meet this mandate. To ensure accountability at Hennepin County Medical Center, Minnesota’s largest, public safety net hospital, nurses are calling for more budgetary oversight by the Hennepin County Board of Directors.

TEAL – Tax-Exempt Accountability Law

Most hospitals are run by large corporations – the health systems – that are exempt from paying most taxes despite bringing in millions or billions of dollars in revenue each year. Instead of paying taxes, they are in turn supposed to provide charity care and other community benefits, to address things like broader community health needs. Most hospitals, however, fall far short of providing those benefits back to their communities and instead, spend their tax-avoidant dollars on things like billboards, ever-growing executive salaries, or even coordinating with anti-union firms.

The Tax-Exempt Accountability Law (TEAL) will ensure hospitals give back to the community by establishing standards on hospital spending around community benefits and will provide more transparency and accountability to the patients and communities they serve.

RN Student Loan Forgiveness bill

Last year, MNA nurses helped pass legislation for student loan forgiveness for nurses. With a staffing crisis in Minnesota hospitals, student loan forgiveness for nurses creates an incentive for nurses to enter or stay in the nursing profession. This year’s legislation will expand funding and eligibility for loan forgiveness.
Hospital Closure Bill

The Hospital Closures bill will strengthen the language of a bill MNA nurses helped pass in 2019, creating regulations around hospital and unit closures. It will provide patients, workers, communities, and the general public with more prior notice when executives slate a hospital for closure or propose service reductions, unit closures, healthcare consolidations, or other related changes. It also creates significant penalties for hospitals who fail to provide adequate notice. Instead of hospital executives being able to close, transfer, or consolidate care whenever they choose, they will be held accountable to the patients and communities they serve and the healthcare workers they employ.

Cap Hospital CEO Pay bill

Hospital CEOs are making millions, taking six-digit raises each year while patients are charged more and healthcare workers are getting chewed up and spit out. We need to cap nonprofit hospital CEO and executive pay so more resources go where they should in our hospitals – to patients and caregivers at the bedside.