The state's largest nursing union wants more scrutiny of disciplinary practices, saying in a statement that "the illicit behavior by nurses and follow-up discipline by the Minnesota Board of Nursing" revealed in a series of stories by the Star Tribune is "undoubtedly devastating to patients and families." 

The Minnesota Nurses Association released the statement prior to a legislative hearing Wednesday on the Nursing Board's disciplinary practices. 

The MNA, which represents over 20,000 nurses, the majority of whom work in hospitals, raised several questions on how to improve the board's discipline, including whether the board should adopt benchmarks to make discipline more uniform.

Currently, state law gives the board wide discretion on how to decide disciplinary actions against nurses, and does not require any automatic suspensions for misconduct. 

Among the other questions raised by the MNA:

  • "Does any regulatory board have enough resources to maintain the latest knowledge about dealing with substance abuse disorder and other mental health afflictions?
  • Do regulatory board members have enough time and opportunity to adequately review and discuss cases?
  • Does workload negatively impact a worker’s behavior?"

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