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Video: Help Nurses Elect Candidates Who Help Nurses

16 Sep IMG_0298

 

 

Join other dedicated members of the Minnesota Nurses Association who are supporting MNA endorsed candidates.  Go to http://www.mnnurses.org/policy-and-advocacy/election-2014-volunteer-opportunities
OR call Eileen Gavin at 651-414-2871.

 

Primary Election August 12-MNA Supports Rebecca Otto for Auditor

6 Aug

Minnesota’s primary election is Tuesday, August 12. You have a chance to return one of the most accomplished state auditors in the country to her post.

Rebecca Otto

MNA endorses Rebecca Otto for State Auditor

MNA has endorsed Rebecca Otto for State Auditor. Otto has carefully served as a watchdog for local governments, including her role in reviewing almost 700 public pension plans, and promoting legal compliance and accountability.

Rebecca Otto (DFL) is one of the most highly-respected state auditors in the United States. In 2014 she was named one of the Most Influential Professionals in Government Auditing by the American Center for Government Auditing (ACGA). She has also received the National Auditors Association Excellence in Accountability Award for Best Practices Review: Reducing Energy Costs in Local Government. In 2011 she received the League of Minnesota Cities President’s Award.

Rebecca Otto has done an outstanding job for the citizens of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Nurses Association is proud to support her.

Find your polling place.

Not registered? You can register at the polls!

Video

Sign up for the Minnesota State Fair!

5 Aug fair5

Join MNA nurses by speaking up for your profession and a minimum standard of care at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair.  Go to www.mnnurses.org to sign up.  Volunteer shifts are filling up fast!

Video

Video: Fairview Lakes Nurses Speak Out about Fairness

9 Jul FairviewLakesstill

 

Fairview Lakes nurses are standing up for a fair contract that ends inequities in pay between nurses in clinics and the hospital.

Monster Week for Nurse Contracts Across Minnesota

7 Jun

Nurses flex collective muscle with three ratifications, two tentative agreements within five days

Bemidji nurses

Solidarity during Bemidji nurses’ March “sick in” demonstration helped secure contract language to address dreadful sick time policies Sanford attempted to impose.

Celebratory emails were lighting up MNA inboxes for five straight days as announcement after announcement arrived of contract victories all over the state.
146 nurses at Mayo Clinic Health Systems in Austin, MN started the buzz with a contract ratification on Wed., May 28. 114 Mayo colleagues 40 miles away approved their agreement just one day later. On Monday, it was 287 nurses at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in northwest Minnesota who ratified their contract.
The run continued on Tuesday, with two notices of tentative agreements. Negotiators for 1202 nurses at Hennepin County Medical Center and 128 nurses at Grand Itasca Hospital and Clinic in Grand Rapids, MN reached deals they could recommend to their bargaining units.
“What an awesome week,” remarked MNA Interim Executive Director Julia Stewart. “These are strong contracts and agreements, secured by strong, determined nurses who want the best for their patients.”
All of the ratifications include improvements to wages and benefits, while rejecting management proposals that would diminish nurses’ ability to provide the quality care their patients deserve.
In Austin, nurses achieved a new level of authority in which they will have a say in scheduling and staffing. MNA Co-Chair Shelby Bell knows the nurses will seize the opportunity to reduce the existing chaos on the units. Under current terms, nurses do not have control over what hours or what shift they work. In any one week, a nurse may work a day, evening and night shift. “Sometimes you don’t know if you are coming or going,” said Bell. “What does that do to patient safety?”
Austin and Albert Lea nurses also made significant gains in parity to the insurance and retirement packages of their Mayo colleagues, including the top-scale nurses in Rochester, where Mayo hopes to establish a self-described “destination medical center.” “I’m hopeful this new contract will address the patient safety concerns we’ve had and honor the limits to what nurses can do,” said Chair Kathy Lehman. “Nurses want the community to know we have their best interests at heart and want to exceed their expectations. This contract helps us do that.”
Sanford Bemidji corporate management proposed policies that drove nurses to a “sick in” on a cold day in March. Nurses successfully fought back in contract negotiations due in large part to the solidarity members demonstrated. The group also won a 25-year step increase as well as 6% wage increases over the life of the contract.
Details for the tentative agreements will be made public after nurses vote at HCMC on June 84-strike-logo10 and at Grand Itasca on June 12.
Stewart also noted MNA’s “Spring Surge” of collective activity was a fitting tribute the courage of nurse colleagues who took historic action 30 years ago on June 1, beginning the nation’s largest nursing strike at the time. The strike lasted 37 days and resulted in an important victory for seniority rights. It also spurred new, fiery energy among bargaining unit members around the power of collective action and their contract. “Nurses today know they stand on the foundation formed by colleagues who took action for their principles,” said Stewart. “These settlements continue to honor those principles – and those remarkable nurses.

MNA Legislative Wrap-up May 23, 2014

23 May Minnesota State Capitol St Paul Minnesota

MNA Legislative Wrap-Up Minnesota_State_Capitol

The 2014 session of the Minnesota Legislature was a success for nurses and working families. Minnesota’s growing economy produced a $1.2 billion budget surplus in 2014, allowing Governor Dayton and the legislature to deliver middle class tax relief and new investments in our schools and our economy.

Minnesotans have seen remarkable progress over the past two years following some of the most productive, efficient legislative sessions in recent memory. Much of that progress will affect patients, working families and nurses.

Health and Human Services Policy Omnibus Bill: Signed into Law

The Governor signed the package of health policy bills (HF2402) into law. Several MNA priorities were included in the bill.

 

  • Health Professionals Services Program (HPSP):

o   Requires health licensing boards to temporarily suspend a health professional license for 30 days and complete a disciplinary investigation during that time, if they receive a report from HPSP that the regulated person has engaged in conduct that might cause risk to the public and the board has probable cause to believe their continued practice presents an imminent risk of harm to the public.

o   Allows the 30 day temporary suspension to be lifted if the board does not complete their investigation by then, unless the regulated person requests a delay.

o   Requires all health licensing boards to stay in HPSPS until July 1, 2015.

o   Requires employers to report any knowledge of drug diversion by a regulated health professional to that persons licensing board unless the knowledge was obtained in the course of a professional-patient relationship or because of the person’s participation in HPSP.

o   MNA supported this legislation to protect patient safety and to protect the privacy and health of nurses with substance use disorder who are working to preserve their licenses and careers.

  • E-cigarettes:

o   Bans the sale of e-cigarettes from kiosks and vending machines.

o   Requires child-resistant packaging to prevent the dangerous ingestion of nicotine by children.

o   Bans the use of e-cigarettes in publicly-owned buildings.

o   Local communities can implement more restrictive regulations on e-cigarettes if they wish.

o   MNA supports restrictions on e-cigarettes since the long term health effects are unknown.

 

Public Employment Relations Board: Signed into Law  

On May 9th, the Governor signed into law a bill to establish a Public Employment Relations Board (HF3014). This legislation will create a board to decide Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) claims involving public employees, which includes many MNA nurses at public municipal or county hospitals (known in statute as Charitable Hospitals). Under current law, public employers and employees must litigate ULP claims in district court-a cumbersome and expensive process. MNA supported this bill because the PERB will create a process that saves employers and employees money and would mirror the ULP process in the private sector.

 

APRN Bill: Signed into Law

Governor Dayton signed into law a bill to allow Advance Practice Registered Nurses to practice to the full extent of their scope (SF511). The law gives full practice authority to Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists. Beginning January 1, 2015, APRNs will be able to practice independently. The new law limits, however, CRNA’s who will continue to require a collaborative management agreement with a physician to practice pain management.

 

This law represents years of work by advocates for APRNs, and MNA was proud to support this effort.

 

Steve’s Law: Signed into Law

Governor Dayton signed into law a bill to broaden the availability of Naloxone (Narcan) for first responders to use in cases of opiate overdose (SF1900). The bill received near unanimous support along every stage of the legislative process. Members of both parties spoke eloquently about the disease of addiction and the great promise this bill has to save lives and give individuals suffering with substance use disorders a second chance. MNA proudly supports this bill, and we applaud the chief authors, Rep. Dan Schoen and MNA member Sen. Chris Eaton, for their work on this common-sense, live-saving legislation.

 

Medical Cannabis: Awaiting Governor’s Signature

Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Carly Melin, the authors of different bills to legalize medical marijuana, announced they had come to an agreement based on the House version of the bill, but with some changes that broaden access, while tightening restrictions to prevent misuse.

 

This bill will be the strictest and most regulated medical cannabis law in the country. Only patients with qualifying conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and seizures will be eligible. It does not allow smoking of marijuana. Instead, patients can access approved forms of medical cannabis such as liquid, pill, or vapor. The bill creates a patient registry to monitor the use of prescription cannabis as well as to evaluate the health effects. Governor Dayton has said he will sign the bill next week.

 

MNA supports legislation that would provide compassionate relief to seriously ill patients.

 

Budget Issues: Signed into Law

The Governor signed the Omnibus Supplemental Budget bill into law. There are several portions of the bill that will directly affect MNA members. Highlights of Health and Human Services portion:

 

  • Fully funded 5% rate increase for Home and Community Based Services Providers of which 80% is encumbered to go to employees in the form of wages and benefits.
  • Increased funding for mental health crisis intervention services.
  • Funding of State Operated Services and Minnesota Sex Offender Program salary supplement. The Governor had requested $11 million each year for 2015, 2016, and 2017 for a total of $33 million to maintain current salary agreements with employees of SOS and MSOP. The conference committee funded everything fully, except for the $1 million for MSOP in 2016 and $1 million for MSOP in 2017.  They also fully funded the Governor’s recommendation for court ordered expert reviews at MSOP of $3 million in 2015.
  • $75,000 for a health care workforce study. MNA will work to ensure that nurses are included in this study.
  • The study on chronic pain therapy treatment included in the APRN bill was funded at $75,000 for 2015.

 

Construction Projects: Signed into Law
The Capital Investment Bonding bill to fund construction projects included several MNA priorities. Highlights include:

  • $56.3 million for design, construction and remodeling of the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter.
  • $7.4 million for design and remodeling of the Minnesota Sex Offender facility in St. Peter.
  • $2 million in asset preservation for veterans homes and memorials.
  • $18 million for a new health services intake at St. Cloud correctional facility.

 

Minimum Wage: Signed into Law
For the first time in a decade, Minnesota’s minimum wage is set to increase. An estimated 325,000 hard-working Minnesotans will get a raise to $9.50 by 2016 (HF2091). The minimum wage will be indexed to inflation in 2018 to keep up with the cost of living. MNA supported this effort because poverty is a public health as well as an economic issue.

Synthetic Drugs: Signed into Law

The Governor signed a bill prohibiting the sale of synthetic drugsinto law. MNA members actively advocated for tougher prohibitions on synthetic drugs and were vocal supporters of the bill. We thank Representative Eric Simonson for considering MNA’s input as he worked to protect both the public and medical personnel affected by those under the influence of synthetic drugs.

Women’s Economic Security Act: Signed into Law

The Governor signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act(WESA) on Mother’s Day. The WESA is the most significant women’s rights legislation in years.

 

The Women’s Economic Security Act:

  • Allows mothers to stay in the workforce by expanding family leave and providing reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing employees.
  • Decreases the gender pay gap through the participation of women in high-wage, high-demand occupations in fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
  • Decreases the gender pay gap by reducing the “motherhood penalty” by requiring equal employment treatment regardless of “familial status.”
  • Addresses negative economic consequences of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault.
  • Enhances retirement security by considering a state retirement savings plan for those without an employer-provided option.

 

MNA supported this legislation.

MNA Legislative Update, May 16, 2014

16 May Minnesota State Capitol St Paul Minnesota

The Minnesota Legislature is constitutionally mandated to finish their work by next Monday, so there has been a lot of activity this week as lawmakers rush to finish important bills. Many MNA priorities have been signed into law or made significant progress this week. Work will continue tonight and possibly over the weekend, so watch your email for a final update from MNA next week.

Public Employee Relations Board: Signed into Law  

On May 9 the Governor signed into law a bill to establish a Public Employee Relations Board (HF3014). This legislation will create a board to decide Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) claims involving public employees, which includes many MNA nurses at public municipal or county hospitals (known in statute as Charitable Hospitals). Under current law, public employees must litigate ULP claims in district court-a cumbersome and expensive process. MNA supported this bill because the PERB will create a process that saves employers and employees money and would mirror the ULP process in the private sector.


APRN Bill: Signed into Law

Earlier this week Governor Dayton signed into law a bill to allow Advance Practice Registered Nurses to practice to the full extent of their scope (SF511). The law gives full practice authority to Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists. Beginning January 1, 2015, APRNs will be able to practice independently. The new law limits, however, CRNA’s who will continue to require a collaborative management agreement with a physician to practice pain management.

This law represents years of work by advocates for APRNs, and MNA was proud to support this effort.


Steve’s Law: Signed into Law

Last week Governor Dayton signed into law a bill to broaden the availability of Naloxone (Narcan) for first responders to use in cases of opiate overdose (SF1900). The bill received near unanimous support along every stage of the legislative process, with members of both parties speaking eloquently about the disease of addiction and the great promise this bill has to save lives and give individuals suffering with substance use disorders a second chance. MNA proudly supports this bill, and we applaud the chief authors, Rep. Dan Schoen and MNA member Sen. Chris Eaton, for their work on this common-sense, live-saving legislation.


Women’s Economic Security Act: Signed into Law

The Governor signed into law the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA) on Sunday, Mother’s Day. The WESA is the most significant women’s rights legislation in years.

The Women’s Economic Security Act:

  • allows mothers to stay in the workforce by expanding family leave and providing reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing employees
  • Decreases the gender pay gap through the participation of women in high-wage, high-demand occupations in fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
  • Decreases the gender pay gap by reducing the “motherhood penalty” by requiring equal employment treatment regardless of “familial status.”
  • Addresses negative economic consequences of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault
  • Enhances retirement security by considering a state retirement savings plan for those without an employer-provided option

MNA supported this legislation that will help address economic inequalities faced by women in the workforce.


Health and Human Services Policy Omnibus Bills: Awaiting Governor’s signature

On Thursday night, both the House and Senate passed the final package of health policy bills (HF2402) by wide bipartisan margins. Several MNA priorities were included in the bill.

  • E-cigarettes: the final bill bans the sale of e-cigarettes from kiosks and vending machines. It includes child-resistant packaging requirements to prevent the dangerous ingestion of nicotine by children. The bill bans the use of e-cigarettes in publicly-owned buildings. Unfortunately, use of e-cigarettes was not added to the Clean Air Act and treated like the use of traditional cigarettes. MNA supports restrictions on e-cigarettes since the long term health effects are unknown. Communities can implement more restrictive regulations on e-cigarettes if they wish.
  • Health Professionals Services Program (HPSP):

o   Requires health licensing boards to temporarily suspend a health professional license for 30 days and complete a disciplinary investigation within 30 days if they receive a report from HPSP that the regulated person has engaged in conduct that might cause risk to the public and the board has probable cause to believe their continued practice presents an imminent risk of harm to the public.

  • Allows the 30 day temporary suspension to be lifted if the board does not complete their investigation by then, unless the regulated person requests a delay.
  • Requires all health licensing boards to stay in HPSPS until July 1, 2015.
  • Requires employers to report any knowledge of drug diversion by a regulated health professional to that persons licensing board unless the knowledge was obtained in the course of a professional-patient relationship or because of the person’s participation in HPSP

Construction Projects: Awaiting Governor’s signature
The Capital Investment Bonding bill, including some MNA priorities, was passed by the House on Thursday night and the Senate on Friday morning. The bill now heads to the Governor. Highlights include:

  • $56.3 million for design, construction and remodeling of the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter
  • $7.4 million for design and remodeling of the Minnesota Sex Offender facility in St. Peter
  • $2 million in asset preservation for veterans homes and memorials
  • $18 million for a new health services intake at St. Cloud correctional facility

For a copy of the project spreadsheet, see the link below:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/224159831/DE-5-7-to-HF-1068-2490-bonding#fullscreen


Synthetic Drugs: Awaiting Governor’s signature

This week the House and Senate both passed the final version of the bill prohibiting the sale of synthetic drugs. It moves on to the Governor for his signature. MNA supports this bill.


Medical Marijuana

On Thursday Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Carly Melin, the authors of different bills to legalize medical marijuana, announced they had come to an agreement based on the House version of the bill, but with some changes that broaden access, while tightening restrictions to prevent misuse. Governor Dayton has said he will sign the bill into law.

This bill will be the strictest and most regulated medical cannabis law in the country. Only patients with qualifying conditions such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and seizures will be eligible. (Intractable pain and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder were not included in the final agreement.) It does not allow smoking of marijuana. Instead, patients can access approved forms of medical cannabis such as liquid, pill or vapor. The bill creates a patient registry to monitor the use of prescription cannabis as well as to evaluate the health effects.

MNA supports legislation that would provide compassionate relief to seriously ill patients. While MNA had also supported the original Senate bill that would have allowed access to a broader number of patients, we believe this bill will bring relief to many Minnesotans. The agreement will need to be voted on by the full House and Senate before moving on to the Governor.

For more information: http://www.scribd.com/doc/224379865/Medical-Cannabis-Fact-Sheet


Supplemental Budget Bills

The Conference Committee charged with working out the differences between the House and Senate Supplemental Budget Omnibus bills met on Tuesday night to unveil the Health and Human Services funding portion of the bill.  There are several portions of the bill that will directly affect MNA members. Highlights of Health and Human Services portion of the Omnibus Budget Bill:

  • Fully funded 5% rate increase for Home and Community Based Services Providers, of which 80% is encumbered to go to employees in the form of wages and benefits.
  • Increased funding for mental health crisis intervention services
  • Funding of State Operated Services and Minnesota Sex Offender Program salary supplement. The Governor had requested $11 million each year for 2015, 2016 and 2017 for a total of $33 million to maintain current salary agreements with employees of SOS and MSOP. The conference committee funded everything fully, except for the $1 million for MSOP in 2016 and $1 million for MSOP in 2017.  They also fully funded the Governor’s recommendation for court ordered expert reviews at MSOP of $3 million in 2015.
  • $75,000 for a health care workforce study. MNA will work to ensure that nurses are included in this study.
  • The study on chronic pain therapy treatment included in the APRN bill was funded at $75,000 for 2015.

For a copy of the full HHS spreadsheet, click here:

NNU launches “Insist on an RN” campaign with radio ads

13 May @mx_860

@mx_860
Sweeping changes underway in the nation’s health care delivery system that expose hundreds of thousands of patients to severe risk of harm are the focus of a major new national campaign by the nation’s largest organization of nurses announced today.

An unchecked proliferation of unproven medical technology and sharp erosion of care standards are rapidly spreading through the health care system, far outside the media spotlight but frighteningly apparent to nurses and patients, says National Nurses United.

In response, NNU has launched a major campaign featuring radio ads from coast to coast, video, social media, legislation, rallies, and a call to the public to act, with a simple theme – “when it matters most, insist on a registered nurse.”  The ads were created by North Woods Advertising and produced by Fortaleza Films/Los Angeles.

To watch the new videos and hear the radio ads visit www.insistonanRN.org

Or click below:

.

Key features of the new threat to patient safety include:

Digitalized care – experimental, unproven medical technology put patients at risk

Hospitals and other healthcare industry giants are spending billions of dollars on medical technology sold to the public as the cure for everything from medical errors to cutting costs. But the reality is proving to be far different, warns NNU.

Bedside computers that diagnose and dictate treatment for patients, based on generic population trends not the health status or care needs of that individual patient, increasingly supplant the professional assessment and judgment of experienced nurses and doctors exposing patients to misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and life-threatening mistakes.

Computerized electronic health records systems too often fail, leaving doctors and nurses in the dark without access to medical histories or medical orders. The Office of the Inspector General for the Health and Human Services Department has reported widespread flaws in the heavily promoted systems. Telemedicine and robotics marketed as improved care deprive patients of individualized care so essential to the therapeutic process central to healing.

The face of future health care – a world without hospital care

Cutting costs is now seen as the prime directive in health care. Unwilling to reduce their profits or limit excessive pricing practices, the means to limiting expenses in the healthcare industry is by restricting or rationing care.

Insurance companies do that by denying claims or setting out-of-pocket costs so high Americans lead the developed world in skipping care when they need it because of the price. Hospitals, especially those that are also insurance companies, like Kaiser Permanente, or linking up with insurers through the new Accountable Care Organizations, restrict care by cutting patient services, limiting hospital admissions, or discharging still very ill patients to clinics, nursing facilities, or home, all settings that have fewer staff and regulations. Hospitals overall, have profit margins of 35 percent for elective outpatient services, compared to just 2 percent for inpatient care.

Nurses every day see patients denied admission who need hospital care, held on hallway gurneys in emergency departments, or parked in “observation” units. Observation is the latest fad in large part because Medicare reimbursement penalties for patients re-admitted within 30 days for the same illness do not apply if the patient was discharged from an observation unit.

The ascendance of profits while reducing access to professional nursing care

Hospital industry profits are at a record high – some $64.4 billion in 2012, according to American Hospital Association data.  Kaiser Permanente, which is the model for many of the industry trends, just reported first-quarter profits of $1.1 billion, up nearly 44 percent from a year ago.

Yet, as one of the new NNU radio ads notes, many of those hospitals are spending their profits and patients’ health care dollars “on everything but quality patient care” – on technology, Wall Street investments, buying up other hospitals, while cutting the staff of bedside registered nurses, “the health professionals most critical to your care and safety.”

Inadequate, unsafe staffing is proliferating through the nation’s hospitals, even as hospitals shift care to other settings leaving the patients able to get in, and stay in hospitals, facing often perilous care standards. Just one example of many, in a report released May 12,  Washington, DC nurses cited 215 incidents of severe understaffing, including life-threatening events, in District hospitals the past 15 months. RNs in DC and several states are pursuing safe staffing legislation.

‘Behind every statistic a patient exposed to unnecessary suffering’

“The American health care system already lags behind other industrialized nations in a wide array of essential health barometers from infant mortality to life expectancy. These changing trends in health care threaten to make it worse,” said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, RN. “Behind every statistic is a patient, and their family, who are exposed to unnecessary suffering and risk as a result of the focus on profits rather than what is best for individual patient need.”

“What we are advising every patient, every American to do is stand up and be heard,” said Ross. “When it matters most, insist on a registered nurse.”

Minnesota Honors Its Nurses

7 May

 

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On May 6, 2014, elected officials in Minnesota kicked off Nurses Week (May 6 – 12) with proclamations and public statements celebrating Minnesota’s nurses.  In the coming days, throughout the state, nurses will continue to demonstrate how Nurses Care by sharing their stories, using their contract to advocate for their patients, conducting food and clothing drives and feeding those in need.

Statement made in the Minnesota Senate.

Senator Chris Eaton, RN

The State of Minnesota places the highest priority on quality health care for all of our citizens and counts 116,685 dedicated and professional licensed nurses in the state.  Nurses continue to meet the different and emerging health care needs of Minnesotans in a wide range of settings, including large medical centers, local hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, veterans homes, and community facilities.

Nurses continue to provide the cost-effective and high quality health care services that will be an even more important component of Minnesota’s health care delivery system.  We know that in the future professional nursing will continue to be an indispensable component in the safety and quality of care of hospitalized patients.

More qualified registered nurses will be needed in the future to meet the renewed emphasis on primary and preventive health care and increasingly complex needs of health care consumers in Minnesota.  The Minnesota Nurses Association has declared the week of May 6-12 as NURSES WEEK to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale with the theme NURSES CARE to celebrate the many ways in which registered nurses strive to provide safe and high quality patient care and continue to serve to be an advocate for patients.

We honor nurses in Minnesota today. Some of them from the Minnesota Nurses Association are here with us in the gallery.   Some of our colleagues in the chamber are also proud to be licensed nurses in the state of Minnesota.   We salute you and all the ways you care for us, our families, and all patients in Minnesota.  Statements made in the Minnesota House of Representatives, honoring nurses and the profession of nursing.

House Majority Leader, Rep Erin Murphy, RN

I rise today to recognize the annual celebration of Nurses Week. We honor the contributions made by 116,685 nurses licensed in our state today, and the legacy of those remarkable professionals who have gone before them.  Nurses Week begins today and ends on May 12 – the birthday of modern nursing’s pioneer, Florence Nightingale.  Nurses Care.  Not only for individuals, but for whole communities as well, and I am proud to stand today in support and solidarity with my fellow nurses – the most trusted professionals in America, according to the Gallup Honest and Ethic poll for 14 of the last 15 years running.

Nurses care holistically.  Nurses assess and treat mind, body and spirit with a delicate balance of clinical skills and heartfelt compassion.  Nurses care with dedication, courage and hard work.  Nurses care under some of the most stress-filled circumstances one can imagine.  Nurses care for the most vulnerable among us, when no one is looking. But Nurses Week is the opportunity to shine a light on this noble profession.  With that in mind, I yield to my colleagues (who wish to go on record).

Rep. Patti Fritz:

We take a week to recognize nurses because so often the act of caring is done in the quiet shadows beyond the bright lights of the operating theater.  So often, the art of caring is taken for granted.  So often the skill of caring takes a back seat to the thrill of technology.   This Nurses Week, let us pause and reflect on the good work nurses do. Let us celebrate the impact they’ve had on our own lives and the lives of our loved ones.  Let us bear witness to the influence nurses have on the health of every Minnesotan.  Let us say “thank you” for careers that have touched countless lives.

Rep. Karen Clark

Nurses care for us when we take in our first breath and exhale our last. They care for us in myriad settings, including destination medical centers, local hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, Veterans Homes community facilities and even in our homes. Now and in the future, nursing will continue to be an indispensable component in the safety and quality of care Minnesotans receive.

Nurses are at the forefront of innovation for the delivery of care where ever it needs to be delivered.  Yet amidst the rapid and transformative changes occurring in health care, we can be assured nurses will always carry the ethical torch of advocacy to ease our worries and guide us toward healing.

Rep. Jerry Hertaus:

In Minnesota, we take pride in our high quality health care.  So too, let us honor this proud profession with its rigorous training and education. As the largest segment of care providers in the health care field, nurses are poised to be change agents, whose ideas and creativity will continue to improve patient outcomes.  With high touch and high tech, nurses are the real deal and the ideal asset for our emerging needs.

Rep. Erin Murphy:

We stand today to honor nurses in Minnesota. Some nurses are here in the Capitol with us today, and we salute you and all the ways you care for us, our families, our communities and everyone in Minnesota. Nurses Care.  And we care for Nurses.  Thank you.

 

MNA Legislative Update May 2, 2014

2 May Minnesota State Capitol St Paul Minnesota

Minnesota State Capitol St Paul Minnesota

MNA Legislative Update May 2, 2014

 

Public Employee Relations Board

A bill to establish a Public Employee Relations Board (HF3014) was passed by the full Senate on Monday. This legislation would create a board to decide Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) claims involving public employees, which includes many MNA nurses at public municipal or county hospitals (known in statute as Charitable Hospitals). Under current law public employees must litigate ULP claims in district court-a cumbersome and expensive process. The PERB bill would create a process that saves employers and employees money and would mirror the ULP process in the private sector.

 

Many nurses contacted their senators last week asking them to oppose attempts to remove Charitable Hospitals from the bill, and we are pleased to report that an amendment to exempt those facilities failed. Another amendment to delay implementation of the PERB for Charitable Hospitals for one year also failed.

 

The companion bill was already passed by the House, and, next week, we anticipate the House will vote to concur with the Senate version of the bill, which would then go on to the Governor for his signature.

 

APRN Bill

Sen. Kathy Sheran’s bill (SF511) to allow Advance Practice Registered Nurses to practice to the full extent of their scope was heard on the Senate floor. Her bill would give full practice authority to Certified Nurse Midwives, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists. The bill allows APRNs to practice independently, but does limit CRNA’s who will continue to require a collaborative management agreement with a physician to practice pain management.

 

The bill passed unanimously, and we anticipate the House will vote to concur with the Senate language, which MNA supports over the House language.

 

Medical Marijuana

The bill to legalize medical marijuana prescribed by a physician for certain serious medical conditions (SF1641) passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Tuesday then passed Judiciary without recommendation on Wednesday. The Senate Health and Human Services Finance Division amended the bill today to prohibit smoking medical marijuana, but would still allow “vaping,” the inhaling of fumes through a charged liquid vaporizer.

 

On Thursday, Representative Carly Melin and House leadership announced a new medical marijuana proposal (SF2470) that would pave the way for clinical trials for patients with qualifying conditions such as seizures, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and glaucoma. Because the bill prohibits smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes, law enforcement is neutral; they have opposed other bills that allow smoking as well as other methods of using medicinal marijuana.

 

Today the House Rules Committee is hearing the compromise bill introduced by Rep. Melin. As of this writing they have not yet concluded their hearing.

 

MNA supports legislation that would provide compassionate relief to seriously ill patients.

 

Health and Human Services Policy Omnibus Bills

The Senate and House omnibus Health and Human Services Policy bills have been taken up by a conference committee to work out differences between the two. The bills both include language that MNA supports related to the Health Professionals Services Program and health professionals with substance use disorders.

Supplemental Budget Bills

The House and Senate are also working out the differences between their supplemental budget bills in a conference committee. In his supplemental budget recommendation, Governor Dayton included $11 million this year and $22 million in the next biennium to cover the cost of negotiated salary increases for staff working in 24-hour care facilities within State Operated Services and the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, which includes many MNA members. While neither the House nor the Senate has included this funding in their respective omnibus bills, we have spoken to conference committee members and about the serious consequences of not funding the State Operated Services salary supplement. We will continue to monitor the negotiations.

 

Nurses Week May 6-12

MNA nurses will be going to the Capitol the morning of Tuesday, May 6 for the kickoff to Nurses’ Week. We’ll meet at the MNA office at 9:00 am to carpool over to the Capitol. We anticipate the House and Senate will go into session around 10:00 or 11:00 am. As legislators enter the chambers, we will give out stickers saying “Nurses Care” then listen to speeches honoring nurses from the Galleries. Please email geri.katz@mnnurses.org if you can come on Tuesday morning.

 

MNA Government Affairs Commissioners and staff with State Representative

Joe Atkins at the Capitol on Wednesday.

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