MNA Statement on State Licensure Process Review

MNA Statement on State Licensure Process Review

Minnesota State Capitol St Paul MinnesotaOn Wed., Nov. 13, Minnesota legislators convened a joint committee on Health and Human Services to review process of the Minnesota Board of Nursing regarding licensure and discipline of nursing professionals.  MNA submitted written testimony reflecting the organization’s position on the issue.

Senator Kathy Sheran
Representative Tina Liebling
75 Rev Martin Luther King Blvd
St. Paul, MN  55115

Written statement to the Joint Committee on Health and Human Services

November 12, 2013

The Minnesota Nurses Association respects the purpose of this Joint Committee hearing to review licensing and disciplinary processes of Minnesota’s Board of Nursing.

Our organization was founded in 1905 on the mission to protect the public by assuring it that a registered nurse met proper standards of professional practice. 108 years later, we remain dedicated to that principle.

As MNA represents nearly 20,000 registered nurses practicing in the state of Minnesota, we also fundamentally recognize the fallibilities that are bound to arise in a diverse population.

The situation exposed by recent news features regarding illicit behavior by nurses and follow-up discipline by the Board of Nursing is undoubtedly devastating to patients and families. And even though statistics prove these circumstances represent less than 1 percent of the millions of patient-nurse engagements occurring every year in a variety of health care settings in our state, we want above all to be assured of systems in place that prevent future incidences.

We should always want to advance the nursing and improve systems and processes. We urge engaging numerous parties, without singling out for blame any individual, organization, employer, agency – or profession.

We can start by asking questions, and providing honest and reflective answers.

  • Does any Regulatory Board have enough resources to maintain the latest knowledge about dealing with Substance Abuse Disorder and other mental health afflictions?
  • Do Regulatory Board members have enough time and opportunity to adequately review and discuss cases?
  • Are benchmarks in place to provide uniformity in the discipline process
  • Does work load negatively impact a worker’s behavior?