Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act overhauled
(ABC 6 News) – The revised legislation now called, the “Nurse and Patient Safety Act,” passed both chambers, sending it to the governor’s desk who’s expected to sign it into law.
Some parts of the bill were left untouched, but others were reworked or left out completely.
Mixed reaction to last-minute legislation passed impacting healthcare facilities across the state.
“We are disappointed, that we couldn’t pass the entire Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act,” DFL Representative Sandra Feist said.
DFL lawmakers and the Minnesota Nurse’s Association had been fighting to address staffing issues, but after Mayo Clinic threatened to pull billions of dollars in investments from the state, lawmakers opted to create new legislation.
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“We are listening to you, we hear you, and we believe you. we believe your experience of what you are going through and the difficulty you are facing and that we’re taking steps and taking action to make that better,” DFL Senator Liz Boldon said.
The staffing portion of the bill was cut.
Mayo Clinic released a statement saying it’s committed to continuing to address the challenges facing nurses, including staffing shortages and violence against healthcare workers.
The bill includes protection against workplace violence and student loan forgiveness for nurses.
In 2024, $5,000,000 would be distributed to eligible nurses.
“It’s still a little bit unclear if those funds have been allocated to the Department of Health,” Senator Carla Nelson said.
Questions came from lawmakers right to the end on legislation that could have wide-ranging implications.
Disappointment from nurses, who now have to accept what they can’t change, but promise to remain committed to providing the best possible care.
“We always have and we always will be, up here to fight for our patients and fight for the people of Minnesota. We always have and we always will,” president of the Minnesota Nurses Association Mary Turner said.
The bill now heads to Governor Walz’s desk where he is expected to sign it.