MNA Statement on State Licensure Process Review

14 Nov

Minnesota State Capitol St Paul MinnesotaOn Wed., Nov. 13, Minnesota legislators convened a joint committee on Health and Human Services to review process of the Minnesota Board of Nursing regarding licensure and discipline of nursing professionals.  MNA submitted written testimony reflecting the organization’s position on the issue.


Senator Kathy Sheran
Representative Tina Liebling
75 Rev Martin Luther King Blvd
St. Paul, MN  55115

Written statement to the Joint Committee on Health and Human Services

November 12, 2013

The Minnesota Nurses Association respects the purpose of this Joint Committee hearing to review licensing and disciplinary processes of Minnesota’s Board of Nursing.

Our organization was founded in 1905 on the mission to protect the public by assuring it that a registered nurse met proper standards of professional practice. 108 years later, we remain dedicated to that principle.

As MNA represents nearly 20,000 registered nurses practicing in the state of Minnesota, we also fundamentally recognize the fallibilities that are bound to arise in a diverse population.

The situation exposed by recent news features regarding illicit behavior by nurses and follow-up discipline by the Board of Nursing is undoubtedly devastating to patients and families. And even though statistics prove these circumstances represent less than 1 percent of the millions of patient-nurse engagements occurring every year in a variety of health care settings in our state, we want above all to be assured of systems in place that prevent future incidences.

We should always want to advance the nursing and improve systems and processes. We urge engaging numerous parties, without singling out for blame any individual, organization, employer, agency – or profession.

We can start by asking questions, and providing honest and reflective answers.

  • Does any Regulatory Board have enough resources to maintain the latest knowledge about dealing with Substance Abuse Disorder and other mental health afflictions?
  • Do Regulatory Board members have enough time and opportunity to adequately review and discuss cases?
  • Are benchmarks in place to provide uniformity in the discipline process
  • Does work load negatively impact a worker’s behavior?

One Response to “MNA Statement on State Licensure Process Review”

  1. Julie Burns November 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Implement a peer-to-peer review that is used by other professionals such as physicians, chiropractors, police, fire, educators. Nurses should be treated no differently than other professionals are treated. There should be no law introduced in the legislature that singles out nurses to restrict that does not incorporate all other health care providers including physicians for restrictions on providing direct patient care. Physicans would have stopped the idea of this occurring long before a legislative committee grilled the Board of Nursing for the job it does based totally upon a newspaper story written as an expose’ with sensational headlines to draw more readers. It is not ok in anyway that a newspaper is allowed to access our license information, thousands of them, and then go digging for dirt on each and every one of us to print a one-sided story about a very small number of nurses who seem to have chemical dependency problems which is considered a chronic disease in this state, and for which nurses provide support and treatment for those individuals seeking help 24/7/365. Every single one of this series’ stories has unspoken side to it. The fact that the Star Tribune presented nurses who consistently are the most trusted of all professions by the public to portray in a very negative light without an aggressive preemptative response by MNA is disappointing.

    It reminds me of another issue that does not seem to have generated a what’s up with this response like it should have from MNA: Paramedics who have a technical certificate are now going into people’s home to educate them on their chronic diseases, administer their medications, doing assessments, giving vaccinations and a whole lot more that a nurse has to go to school for 4 years for. Here is a list of what paramedics can do now with two years experience and 12 credits at a tech college:
    Outreach Wellness
    Health screening assessments
    Health instruction
    Dispensing of immunizations
    Disease management
    Mental health assistance
    Wound care
    Safety programs
    Extension of physicians in rural clinics and hospitals!
    How much more turf do we have left for others to take away from what we do? And how low will our wages go if we keep letting less educated, unskilled workers do our jobs? Should nurses be required train paramedics in the field as they are now being required to do?

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