Bipartisan bill to retain and staff hospital nurses to protect patient care will move forward as standalone bill as health omnibus stalls
“Someday, all of us and our loved ones will need care in a hospital,” said Mary C. Turner, RN, MNA President. “When that day comes, we deserve to know there will be enough skilled nurses at the bedside to provide the safe, high-quality care all patients deserve. With the strong support of Minnesota patients and a bipartisan, pro-nurse majority in the Minnesota legislature, it is time to take bold action to hold hospital executives accountable and give nurses a voice to help improve staffing levels, bring nurses back to the bedside, and protect patient care.”
Nurses will be joined for the committee hearing today by allies from organized labor and patient advocate organizations in support of the bill to protect patient care by retaining and staffing enough skilled nursing professionals. For more than a week, MNA nurses have staged a sit-in at the State Capitol to call on elected officials to stand with patients and nurses, not corporate bullies attempting to undermine our democracy and a voice for nurses in improving patient care conditions.
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, protections for nurses against retaliation by management, and loan forgiveness programs.
Throughout the open and transparent legislative process, the bill was revised in compromise with state legislators, nurse advocates and hospital administrators – including representatives from the Minnesota Hospital Association and from Mayo Clinic, Avera Health Marshall, CentraCare, HealthPartners Methodist, Maple Grove Hospital, Essentia, Winona Health, and Riverwood hospitals.
Information on today’s committee hearing is included below. MNA nurses will be available at the committee hearing to speak with members of the press.
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE HEARING ON KEEPING NURSES AT THE BEDSIDE ACT
- When: 3:30 p.m. today, Thursday, May 18, 2023
- Where: Room G-3, Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Saint Paul, MN 55155
- Who: Nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association and allies from organized labor and patient advocate organizations
- What: Conference committee hearing on Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act
- Why: To staff and retain hospital nurses to protect patient care in Minnesota hospitals