Nurses from Allina’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital release statement on new unsafe patient admissions plan, send cease-and-desist to management


Contact: Amber Smigiel
(c) 651-202-0845
Lauren Bloomquist
(c) 651-376-9709
The plan is in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and could be counter to the Minnesota Nurse Practice Act
(St. Paul) – July 3, 2024 – Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) are releasing a statement about their concerns regarding a new patient admissions plan that Allina’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital plans to begin on July 11, 2024. The hospital announced they will implement a “15 Minutes to Comfort Plan” that unilaterally seizes the authority of charge nurses to determine the number of patients a unit can safely care for and allows management to force patients onto unprepared units.

This is a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and could be counter to the Minnesota Nurse Practice Act. Nurses have sent Allina management a cease-and-desist letter informing them MNA demands that such proposals first be considered and bargained at the appropriate Labor Management Committee meeting per the Collective Bargaining Agreement. In addition, the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) has begun a major investigation into the increase in unreported workplace violence and other incidents.

Over the last year, Allina has used benchmarking as an excuse to force major changes to staffing in all its Twin Cities Metro hospitals, resulting in individual nurses carrying ever-increasing numbers of patients. MNA nurses have been advocating against these changes, arguing that the loss of staffing directly impacts patient and worker safety. Nurses held an informational picket last October protesting the changes.

The following is a statement from Jennifer Stanerson, Angela Becchetti and Rachael Ballard, Minnesota Nurses Association RNs and Chairs at Allina’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital:

“We are deeply concerned by Allina’s announcement that they will implement a ’15 Minutes to Comfort’ patient admission plan at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. This process takes away the charge nurse’s ability to use their experience and expertise to staff their units safely. Instead, the decision on whether to admit a patient from the Emergency Department will be in the hands of an off-unit manager who cannot quickly assess the conditions. This type of decision-making will profoundly affect the safety and well-being of patients and cause overburdened nurses to take on more patients than they can safely handle.

Our hospital is already losing staff because of the cuts Allina has made due to their benchmarking. Management’s refusal to increase staffing during acute incidents of unsafe patients and working conditions has led to a dramatic increase in patient complications and patient-on-worker violence. We see increasing occurrences of pressure sores, infections, sepsis, and patient falls and more than 50 incidents of worker assault over a two-month period.

While we are grateful that MNOSHA is investigating the conditions in our hospital, it’s not enough. Allina’s recent profit-driven decisions deny nurses and patients the resources needed to ensure safe staffing and quality patient care at the bedside, betraying Allina’s promise to serve the communities in which it operates as a nonprofit entity. Hospital management must listen to nurses, reverse these unsafe plans and procedures, and put the decision-making back in the hands of their experienced staff.”