MNA oppose hospital merging, but support Nurse Bedside act

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The Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) held a virtual meeting with state legislatures to voice their opposition to hospital merging. The proposal is to merge M Fairview Health and Sanford Health, but MNA are against it due to the corporatization. However, the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside act will help address nurse staffing shortages.

MNA president Mary Turner, said the main issue a lot of nurses have is with under staffing, and the long shifts. “Every time you’ve got mergers. And the last one was Fairview Health East. What did they do? Close two hospitals during a pandemic.” Turner said.

During the virtual meeting, Josh Welsh, who works at Unity Hospital as a Floor Nurse talked about working during the Pandemic. “Since the COVID crisis, nurses have been leaving my hospital and my floor in waves. In one year, I watched my seniority on my floor rise from the 15th, most senior nurse to the fifth most senior nurse. So that means one year, ten nurses with ten or more years of experience left my floor. That lost of institutional memory and bedside experience had a negative impact on our patients.” Welsh said. He also said the Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act, can help ensure nurses and patients receive dignified and safe care.

Minnesota state Sen. John Hoffman of Champlain said one of the ways to improve the current system is to give nurses better wages. “The system is failing us and hospitals are a mandated service. Under Medicaid, there’s 15 Medicaid mandated services. If you don’t have a nursing home availability, where’s the only mandated service left? The hospitalization at the mandated service.” Sen. Hoffman said. “We need to have those standards in place so that nurses feel that they’re safe and then they can do their job and be nurses again.”

For more information about the Keeping Nurses at the Beside act you can look here. For more information about the Minnesota Nurses Association concerns with staffing we have a report here.