Minnesota nurses have faced immense obstacles to support communities across the state combat COVID-19, and now this week at the Capitol hundreds of these nurses from across the state met their legislators to make their voices heard during the Minnesota Nursing Association’s Week on the Hill. While meetings were held virtually due to COVID-19, nurses made sure legislators heard what needs to be done to help these critical workers.
Few sectors have faced as many challenges as those working in nursing. Throughout the pandemic, our nurses were asked to make incredible sacrifices to care for Minnesotans infected from COVID-19, in addition to the regular daily challenges they face in hospitals. This has led to a crisis in nursing for Minnesota, with thousands experiencing burnout, others leaving the state for better opportunities or leaving the industry completely, and others who lost their lives due to the pandemic.
In their week of virtual lobbying, nurses made clear what would help them most: support from the state to pay them what they deserve and to provide higher standards to keep them and patients safe.
Senate DFLers are committed to delivering real support for these essential workers. A high priority is passage of the “Keeping Nurses at the Bedside” Act which would address staffing concerns, strengthen policies to improve working conditions, provide mental health support, and allow more financial aid for students looking to become nurses. Senate DFLers also remain focused on passing a frontline worker pay bonus of $1,500 for every nurse in Minnesota, with no exceptions. We pledge to continue to advocate on behalf of our nurses, and all frontline workers to address concerns discussed this week on the Hill.