Nurses and Lawmakers Come Together To Promote New Legislation

DULUTH, Minn. — Nurses are joining Minnesota lawmakers, desperately urging support for a bill to address the short staffing and retention of employees in hospitals statewide.

The “Keeping Nurses at The Bedside” Act is being introduced to correct an already-existing staffing crisis, nurses say existed long before the pandemic.

The bill hopes to set a maximum number of patients any one nurse can care for establish committees to help set staffing levels for different units and make it so at least 60% of those committees would be nurses in case help is needed.

Duluth senator Jen McEwen says she’s been a proponent of this bill for quite some time and that it’s high time to move it forward.

“We’ve heard about the depression, we have heard, the other day, a story about someone who is suffering hair loss because of the trauma and the depression and anxiety that her work is giving her, and that is not uncommon, so this has to stop, and a lot of us have recognized that we need some type of legislation to address this short staffing,” Jen McEwen, Senator (DFL-Duluth), said.

Leaders from the nurses association also spoke saying that putting patients and nurses ahead of CEO profits, will improve the quality of care for Duluth and Minnesota patients all together

“Today, we are calling on our elected officials to step up, and ensure that we have the resources and staff needed to care for each and every one of our patients. As nurses, we fill many roles, caregivers, teachers, educators, and today, advocates for the needs of our patients,” Chris Rubesh, Cardiac Nurse, VP of Minnesota Nurses Association said.

The bill also addresses reviews and releases regarding hospital safety data, and recruiting and training nursing students.

The “Keeping Nurses at the Bedside” Act was introduced this week for consideration in the state’s current legislative session.

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