Nurses to stage sit-in at State Capitol to protect democracy and safe patient care from corporate attacks


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

Nurses to stand with Governor Walz, legislators against threats to democratic process by corporate health executives

(St. Paul) – May 9, 2023 – Starting at 12:00 p.m. today, Tuesday May 9, 2023, until safe staffing legislation is secured for all patients at every hospital in Minnesota, nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association will stage a sit-in at the State Capitol to tell Governor Tim Walz and legislative leaders that nurses have their backs as they stand up to corporate bullies. Nurses will take this drastic step following the revelation late last week that corporate health executives at Mayo Clinic Health Systems have attempted to overrule democracy with their threat to withdraw billions in investments if their “blackmail” demands are not met to kill legislation to retain nurses and improve staffing to protect patient care.

“Safe staffing is in critical condition at the State Capitol due to the blackmail tactics of corporate hospital executives,” said Mary C. Turner, RN, MNA President. “Minnesota nurses know, when a patient is in critical condition, you don’t leave their side. Nurses will stay at the Capitol as long as it takes to secure safe staffing for every patient at every hospital in Minnesota.”

The bipartisan Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act is a comprehensive, compromise 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. The bill also includes additional nurse recruitment and retention solutions including workplace violence prevention and loan forgiveness programs. Someday, all of us and our loved ones will need care in a hospital. When that day comes, we deserve to know our hospital will be staffed with highly skilled healthcare professionals able to provide the quality care we need and deserve.

“Corporate bullies cannot be allowed to dictate public policy on safe staffing or any other issue,” said Chris Rubesch, RN, MNA First Vice President. “We must pass safe staffing to protect our patients, our profession, and our democracy. The actions of Mayo corporate executives make clear why transparency is desperately needed to put patients before profits in every hospital in our state.”

Throughout the open and transparent legislative process, the bill has been revised in compromise with state legislators, nurse advocates and hospital administrators – including representatives from the Minnesota Hospital Association and from Avera Health Marshall, CentraCare, HealthPartners Methodist, Maple Grove Hospital, Essentia, Winona Health, and Riverwood hospitals. The bill passed both bodies of the Minnesota Legislature with robust public debate. But at the eleventh hour, Mayo Clinic executives presented an ultimatum behind closed doors, threatening Governor Walz and legislative leaders in an attempt to undermine the democratic process with their corporate power.

Details on nurses’ sit-in are included below.


  • When: Beginning today, Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.; daily 8:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m. until safe staffing legislation is secured in Minnesota
  • Where: First Floor West Wing Hallway, Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Saint Paul, MN 55155
  • Who: Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association
  • What: State Capitol sit-in
  • Why: To protect democracy and safe patient care from corporate attack