2015 session: HF 1654/no Senate companion
Sponsored by the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), this legislation would have given the commissioner of health responsibility for establishing the minimum number of nurses on duty and directed the commissioner to form a work group to review evidence-based literature to develop a minimum number of nurses required during all shifts and on all patient care units. The legislation would have called for creating a 12-person work group comprised of at least seven MNA members. The commissioner would have been able to impose a civil penalty of not less than $25,000 for each hospital failing to comply, including the failure to staff any patient care unit at the required levels. The commission would have been required to post on its website all incidents of noncompliance on a quarterly basis. The legislation would amend the Adverse Health Events law so that any event that caused a patient to have an extended hospital stay or readmission that was caused fully or partially by "unsafe staffing levels" as determined by the patient's direct care RN at the time of the event would be reportable under the Adverse Health Events law.
While this legislation received an informational hearing in the House, no
vote was taken. No Senate companion was introduced during the 2015 legislative
2017 session: HF 2155/no Senate companion
This legislation sought to
establish requirements for the assignment of direct-care registered nurses.
Under the legislation, if any direct-care registered nurse determines that
staffing levels are inadequate and notifies the unit’s charge nurse and a
manager or administrative supervisor, the manager or supervisor shall review
options to address the staffing level inadequacies. If the staffing
inadequacies cannot be resolved and resources cannot be reallocated after
considering the options and factors, the hospital shall call in extra staff to
ensure adequate staffing to meet safe patient standards. Until extra staff
arrive and begin to receive patient assignments the hospital must suspend
nonemergency operations and elective surgeries that routinely lead to inpatient
hospitalization; the charge nurse for the unit with inadequate staffing levels
is authorized to close the unit to new patient admissions and in-hospital
transfers; and a direct-care registered nurse is authorized to refuse an assignment
that is unsafe, in the nurse’s professional opinion.
This legislation did not
receive a hearing in the House, but it was offered as an amendment to another
bill on the House floor. That amendment was defeated.
2017 session: HF 2650/SF 2382
This legislation would have
required hospitals to provide direct-care registered nurse staffing at levels
consistent with nationally accepted standards and report shift-level nurse
staffing numbers by hospitals on the MHA nurse staffing website and to the
commissioner of health. It also would have required the staffing plan to have
consent of union representatives, required new patient safety committees in
hospitals, prohibited retaliation and imposed civil penalties.
This legislation was
introduced too late in the 2017 legislative process to be considered by a