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Minnesota Vikings support Minnesota nurses

Nurses in Duluth, MN recently authorized a one-day strike — and took some flak for doing so. But at least one bunch of big burly guys publicly supports the nurses’ work and concern for patient safety.

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Currently, it looks as if a strike has been averted. After hours of negotiation, the Minnesota Nurses Association has reached a tentative agreement with Duluth hospitals. The agreement — which SMDC Medical Center nurses are voting on today — allows nurses to temporarily shut down units in light of unsafe staffing.  The nurses and hospital also agree to work together to establish staffing grids to determine appropriate staffing levels. If the two sides can’t agree, a mediator with healthcare experience will be brought it to help resolve the issue. Nurses will also be able to access additional funds for further education. Currently, the hospital pays up to $3000/year to advance a nurse’s education. Under the new plan, that amount will increase to $3500. Nurses will also be able to receive an extra $200/year ($700 yearly, up from $500/year)  to attend educational workshops.

What do you think of the tentative agreement? Does it adequately address the nurses’ staffing concerns?

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Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.

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