Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act advances at State Capitol


Contact: Sam Fettig
(c) 612-741-0662
Lauren Nielsen
(c) 651-376-9709

Nurse staffing bill, designed to address retention and patient care, moving forward in both House and Senate health omnibus bills 

(St. Paul) – April 4, 2023 – Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) and Senator Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) today celebrated the inclusion of the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act (SF 1561, HF 1700) in the Senate Health and Human Services omnibus bill advanced by the committee today. The act, designed to solve the crisis of nurse short-staffing, retention, and patient care in Minnesota hospitals, is now moving forward in both the Minnesota Senate and House health omnibus bills at the State Capitol.

“This bill is about taking care of Minnesota patients,” said Mary C. Turner, RN, MNA President. “Someday, all of us and our loved ones will need care in a hospital. When that day comes, people need to know there are enough skilled nurses at the bedside to provide the safe, high-quality care all patients deserve. We thank the Minnesota Senate and House for taking this important step, and nurses are ready to work to pass this bill to bring nurses back to the bedside and help solve the crisis in our hospitals.”

With more than 122,000 Registered Nurses in Minnesota, the highest ever in state history and an increase of more than 4,000 in the last year, there is no shortage of nurses in Minnesota. But nurses are leaving the bedside due to unsafe and unsustainable conditions in our hospitals. Last year alone, more than 2,400 MNA nurses left bedside hospital jobs in Minnesota, citing unsafe staffing as the number one issue driving nurses away. But more than 80 percent of nurses also indicated a willingness to return to the bedside if conditions improve, meaning more than 2,000 nurses are ready to come back – if the Minnesota Legislature takes action this year.

“After nearly two decades of work, The Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act is moving in the Senate and the House,” said Senator Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul), chief author of the Senate bill. “The result of dialogue and compromise, this legislation fulfills our promise of excellent patient care, adequate staffing, and safe working conditions. Retaining our skilled nurses and training the next generation will provide better staffing and better care for our loved ones. With critical progress, this is the year to finish the job, and we will.”

The Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act is a comprehensive approach to nurse staffing and retention that would establish committees of direct care workers and management at Minnesota hospitals to discuss what works best for staffing for their patients on a hospital-by-hospital, unit-by-unit level.

Rather than patients waiting for hours or being denied care, the bill incentivizes hospitals to staff appropriately so nurses have the time and resources necessary to provide quality patient care. Under the bill, Minnesota hospitals would receive a public grade reflecting data on patient care and whether they follow the staffing plans agreed to by the committees. The bill also includes additional nurse recruitment and retention solutions including workplace violence prevention and loan forgiveness programs.

To learn more about the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, click here.