The Minneapolis Star Tribune recently ran an investigative report showing how easily Minnesota nurses can evaderequirements and how few face discipline for serious misconduct. Now the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) has come out in favor of tougher standards.
The Star Tribune story detailed incidents of nurses stealing patients’ pain medications and lying on licensing applications to the state Board of Nursing about past criminal behavior.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services admitted that its methods for conductingallowed many disqualified nurses to get jobs.
The exposé prompted a legislative hearing. Getting out in front of the story, the MNA, which represents more than 20,000 nurses statewide, issued a statement acknowledging the report was “undoubtedly devastating to patients and families.” It said the union would support a Nursing Board initiative to adopt benchmarks to make discipline more uniform.
However, the union also questioned whether the board had sufficient resources to regulate nurses—and how many of the problems detailed in the report may have resulted from the long hours nurses work. The MNA has been pushing for shorter hours for years.