A bill to enter Minnesota into the multistate Nurse Licensure Compact passed the Health and Human Services committee earlier this week. Senate Republicans have positioned this bill as a quick fix to the state’s nurse staffing shortage, but Minnesota nurses made it clear that bringing in more out-of-state workers will not address the root causes of this crisis.
States across the country, including those in this compact, are experiencing the same workforce shortages as Minnesota. Instead of temporary solutions and quick fixes, DFLers in the House and Senate are championing proposals brought forward by Minnesota nurses to support and retain these critical workers. The “Keeping Nurses at the Bedside” Act will address staffing concerns and strengthen policies to improve workplace safety for employees and patients. Nurses have also highlighted the need for more mental health supports, loan forgiveness, and financial aid for students looking to become nurses. In addition, Senate DFLers remain focused on passing a frontline worker pay bonus of $1,500 for every nurse in Minnesota.
Minnesota nurses provide some of the highest-quality care in the nation, but the prolonged stress of the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed some into early retirement or out of the healthcare workforce altogether. Quick fixes aren’t enough. Instead of hoping out-of-state workers will solve this crisis, Senate DFLers will continue to focus on solutions that invest in Minnesota nurses and emphasize the state’s high standards for patient care. (SF 2302)