Minnesota Medical School Students Stand in Solidarity with Minnesota Nurses’ Fight for Patients Before Profit

The following was released on September 9, 2022, by students at the University of Minnesota Medical School:

Minnesota nurses are on the precipice of the largest nursing strike in US history, and are calling
on healthcare networks to recognize that we must put patients before profit. We, as medical
students at the University of Minnesota Medical School, stand in solidarity with the over 15,000
nurses that will be striking starting September 12th. We must amplify their voices and emphasize
the immense value of every nurse on healthcare teams.

Studies clearly show that low nurse-to-patient ratios greatly impact patient safety: staffing levels
influence inpatient mortality rates as longer shifts and overtime hours increase the chances
of nursing errors and burnout. For instance, rates of patient death in the hospital go up 7% for
every additional patient the nurse has to care for. As patients and nurses face the tragic
consequences of dangerous nurse-to-patient ratios, nurses are victimized through disciplinary
action or termination following errors made while overburdened by unrealistic patient loads.

For years, hospitals with exorbitant executive salaries have staffed as few nurses and support
staff as possible in order to maximize profits. As stated in a viral NYT Opinion piece released
earlier this year, there is not a nursing shortage in the United States as there are more registered
nurses in our country than ever before. As 52% of nurses are considering leaving the profession
in the next year, the truth is that staff nurses are no longer willing to work under increasingly
impossible conditions.

Therefore, the Minnesota Nurses Association’s advocacy provides an opportunity for growth and
positive change. As future physicians, we must collectively recognize that nurses are invaluable,
interdependent members of our healthcare teams. Since data shows that it is ultimately the
patient who is harmed when our healthcare teams are not strong, when nurses advocate for
themselves and their patients, we must listen.

Nurses, we are listening. You expertly balance compassionate care, mentally and physically
taxing labor, and patient advocacy, all in a day’s work. We have your backs as we stand with you
to call on healthcare networks around the state to put patients before profit. We encourage our
fellow healthcare workers, community members, and patients to keep up-to-date with the strike
and find ways to meaningfully support our nurses.

With hope and solidarity for everyone on the healthcare team and the care of our future patients.

The following students at the University of Minnesota Medical School stand in solidarity with
Minnesota nurses. The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of individual
students and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities they represent,
including the University of Minnesota Medical School.

2 Comments

  1. I have been chasing the coolest generation, the Boomers, for my whole life. Always just a bit too YOUNG to be smack dab in the middle of that revolution.
    But, I am OLD enough to remember when I LOVED being a nurse. I was a VALUED member of the healthcare team.
    Sadly, after 36 years, most in the metro twin cities hospitals, most of these as a PROUD Union STRONG RN, I left it behind last November.
    The toxic corporate work environment was literally eating me alive.
    There is no option, CHANGE MUST COME!
    Thanks U of M medical students! Your support is appreciated and imperative!
    Still and always PROUD to stand with my colleagues at MNA!

  2. Thank you to the MN Medical Students for supporting the nurses!

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