The nurse leaders of the Michigan Nurses Association, the largest union and professional organization representing registered nurses in Michigan, direct the organization’s public policy agenda.
MNA is a nonpartisan organization. We strive to work with all lawmakers, regardless of party, to advance public policy that supports nurses, patients and all workers. We take our responsibility to be the voice of ALL Registered Nurses very seriously.
MNA’s nurse leaders have set the top state legislative priorities for the 2021-2022 session (download the PDF):
- Ensure safe patient care
MNA is the only Michigan organization working to address RNs’ top concern: too often, they are forced to take care of too many patients and ordered to work longer hours than are safe. There is no law limiting the number of patients a nurse can be assigned and there is no law limiting the hours a nurse can be mandated to work. Hospital understaffing creates conditions that are dangerous for patients and nurses alike. MNA supports passing laws that set minimum nurse-patient ratios by unit in Michigan hospitals and limit mandatory overtime. The safe staffing movement among RNs is growing, and MNA will keep pushing back against a corporate focus on profit over patients. Learn more about our bipartisan plan at: www.MISaferHospitals.org.
- Make workplaces safer for nurses
Nursing is often a physically demanding and dangerous profession. Nurses have a high rate of back and other musculoskeletal injuries from lifting and repositioning patients as well as performing other tasks. Nurses also face verbal and physical assaults from patients and family members, a rising problem that calls for preventative solutions. With the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are faced with even more dangers. Both nurses and employers suffer when a high rate of preventable injuries causes nurses to miss work or leave the profession. MNA’s bipartisan legislation would require hospitals and other health care settings to create a workplace violence prevention plan with input from frontline workers; train employees on policies, reporting violence, and using de-escalation and other preventive techniques; and track workplace violence and report injuries to law enforcement.
- Protect collective bargaining rights
Nurses are the healthcare professionals who spend the most time providing direct care and serve as a patient’s first line of defense. That’s why health care works best when nurses have a strong voice in patient care. Collective bargaining is the best tool RNs have to effectively advocate for their patients. Nurses under a collective bargaining agreement have the potential to negotiate workplace conditions, such as staffing levels. Those nurses are also better protected if they object to unsafe situations or advocate for changes to improve patient care. It’s important that Michigan nurses have the right to organize if they choose and to exercise their full rights.
For information on legislation or how to become more active as an advocate, contact Dawn Kettinger, MNA Director of Government Affairs, at this email or 517-853-5519.