By Geri Katz
Manager of Practice, Education and Special Projects
and Megan Gavin
MNA Labor Representative
MNA member Hans-Peter de Ruiter, PhD, RN, has retired from the Minnesota Nurses Association Foundation Board of Directors after nine years of service, including five years as chair.
Hans has led the MNAF board in awarding scholarships and grants to promising students and nurses whose academic pursuits will help support MNA’s mission and goals and make real improvements in care and building power for nurses. Hans led the MNAF board in expanding scholarship offerings considerably. In 2015, the MNAF awarded 30 scholarships for a total of $69,500. Just four years later, the MNAF awarded 71 scholarships for a total of $173,000.
Hans also led the creation of Legacy Scholarships for children of MNA members and was instrumental in the establishment of a new scholarship in honor of Mary Eliza Mahoney, the first African American graduate nurse in the United States. Awarded for the first time in 2019, the Mary Eliza Mahoney Scholarship provides financial support to members of other healthcare unions facing institutional and structural barriers, who want to become Registered Nurses and members of MNA.
Hans teaches nursing at Minnesota State University in Mankato and emphasizes the importance of bedside care. He sets high standards for his students. He’s also known for emphasizing the need for collective bargaining and using MNA events as teachable moments for students.
Hans has brought groups of student nurses to MNA conventions to build bridges between the newest nurses and those who have served for decades. Hans also brings his students to MNA’s Student Nurses Day on the Hill every year to showcase the value of nurses engaging in political advocacy. He has also been instrumental in building support for the event among other nursing faculty.
Hans himself will continue to teach and pursue research that will improve the practice of nursing both for nurses and patients.
MNA is grateful for his service on the MNAF board and his continued work on behalf of the nursing profession.