[LEARFIELD] ST PAUL — Nurses are rallying at the State Capitol today as the Minnesota House debates the omnibus health finance bill. Minnesota Nurses Association president Mary Turner says it includes a measure that will improve working conditions in our hospitals.

“And so what we want with Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act is just to be able to have a say at the table to try to improve the staffing so that our young nurses… or any of our nurses…so we don’t have a bunch of nurses retiring before they should.”

Turner says it would allow nurses to serve on committees that discuss staffing levels. The Minnesota Hospital Association warns the “staffing mandates” in the bill would force hospitals across the state to close units.

New numbers from the Minnesota Board of Nursing show the state added thousands of registered nurses in 2022. Turner said, “We’ve added eight thousand nurses. We have about 130 thousand nurses in Minnesota. So this business that there’s a nursing shortage in Minnesota is like couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

Turner says there is a “crisis of retention” in our hospitals and too many young nurses are leaving after a year or two due to poor working conditions.