Nurses celebrate inclusion of Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act in House Health Omnibus bill  


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

Omnibus also includes nurse-supported legislation to regulate proposed hospital mergers    

(St. Paul) – March 29, 2023 – Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) today celebrated the inclusion of the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act (SF 1561, HF 1700) and a bill to provide critical public oversight of proposed hospital mergers (HF 402, SF 1681) in the House Health Finance and Policy omnibus bill (HF2930 DE1, bill list). The House Health omnibus bill was presented for public testimony in committee today and will be taken up by the committee tomorrow.

“The provisions included in this omnibus bill provide nurses and other healthcare workers a voice in staffing in their hospitals through a comprehensive, local, and flexible approach to ensure patients are receiving the best care from their nurses,” said MNA in support of the bill. “We applaud Chair Liebling and the committee’s inclusion of these important steps to bring nurses back to the bedside and help solve the crisis in our hospitals.”

The Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act is designed to solve the crisis of short-staffing, retention, and patient care in Minnesota hospitals. While there are more registered nurses in Minnesota than ever before, half of all nurses are now considering leaving the profession, citing short staffing as their top concern. The bill 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. The bill also includes additional nurse recruitment and retention solutions including workplace violence prevention and loan forgiveness programs.

Nurses also applauded the inclusion of provisions from House File 402 in the omnibus bill that provide the Attorney General and Department of Health with the authority and tools desperately needed to protect patients, communities, healthcare workers, and our state healthcare delivery system from the harms caused by hospital consolidation and corporatization. These provisions establish new safeguards at the state level to prevent harmful mergers and transactions and outline a comprehensive and data-informed approach for ensuring that only transactions that would provide for the public good can move forward, while also preventing charitable assets from being transferred to a for-profit entity.

In addition to these key nurse priorities, the House Health omnibus includes several other important provisions that MNA nurses support, including a study examining the costs and benefits of the proposed Minnesota Health Plan, a universal healthcare system; reforms to public health plans to allow enrollees to opt out of managed care plans; expanded access to MinnesotaCare and protections for Medicaid enrollees; and other provisions.

Read more about MNA support for the House Health Omnibus bill at this link.