Minnesota might have its share of cold winters, but the state is the ultimate hotspot for nursing innovation and quality care standards.
From Rochesters world-renowned Mayo Clinic to the Twin Cities numerous hospitals and facilities, Minnesota offers the chance to launch a nursing career among phenomenal talent.Katherine Todd, RN
I would say that the quality standards in healthcare in Minnesota are extraordinary, says Susan Stout, RN, director of state government relations for the Minnesota Hospital Association. Working as a nurse in Minnesota gives you the opportunity to work with some of the best healthcare providers.
Access to top healthcare providers and clinics could be why Minnesotans are counted among the nations healthiest residents. Minnesota has been named one of the healthiest states multiple times by Congressional Quarterlys annual list of healthcare state rankings. This year, the Land of 10,000 Lakes took first place in the survey.Melissa Brodeur, RN
People really celebrate life here, says Katherine Todd, RN, maternity care clinical supervisor at Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury, part of HealthEast Care System.
Minnesota boasts 150 hospitals treating 9 million outpatients and 600,000 inpatients annually, according to the Minnesota Hospital Association. About 20 hospitals exist in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area alone, including the University of Minnesota Medical Center and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. The state also is home to about 50 nursing programs available through community colleges, state universities, and private schools.Mandy Richards, RN
Local nurses praise the emphasis on continuing education and career growth they see at area hospitals and clinics. Tuition reimbursement, education stipends, scholarships, and new grad support are among the benefits available at their facilities. Melissa Brodeur, RN, started out as a nursing assistant on the orthopedic unit of North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. She now works as a staff and charge nurse in the trauma neuro intensive care unit at the hospital.
I was able to stay on as a nursing assistant throughout my nursing school years, and then was rehired as an RN, Brodeur says. They encourage you to continue your education.
While advancing her education, Brodeur, who is originally from South Dakota, observed stringent requirements set by the Minnesota Board of Nursing. She was immediately impressed.Bill Johnson, RN
I think it sets us up for excellence, Brodeur says. If you have higher standards, it just makes you that much better. It sets the bar higher.
Those high standards are apparent in practices such as the clinical nurse question procedure at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, part of Allina Hospitals & Clinics. The program allows nurses from any level to submit clinical questions or concerns and have them answered through evidence-based research, says Mandy Richards, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, CNS.
Richards says questions range from simple inquires about TED stockings to more complicated topics such as whether heparin should be put into flush bags.Cathy McCallister, RN
The nurses are being involved in changing nursing practice in a way thats better for patient outcomes, says Richards, who works as a director of nursing at Abbott. Youre getting nurses involving themselves in research, which is great.
Allina is implementing a nursing staff and nursing leadership program, Richards says, as well as a new grad residency program. A simulation program for critical care orientation also is being made available, she says.
Minnesota is extremely progressive medically, says Bill Johnson, RN, MBA, a nursing workforce development consultant at Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis. Nurses and other healthcare staff at various health systems work together to improve patient outcomes.
Some Minnesota hospitals also are more open to alternative or complementary treatments, Todd says. Her own facility offers a range of healing arts therapies, such as aromatherapy, healing touch, guided imagery, healing music, and acupuncture. Todd is hoping to pursue a doctorate of nursing practice in integrative health and healing. Our sense of well-being through our thoughts and actions and the way our system supports us will have a tremendous impact on our health process, Todd says.
Nurses in Minneapolis-Saint Paul also enjoy the cultural diversity the community offers. The area is home to a large Hmong population, as well as Hispanic and Somali residents, says Cathy McCallister, RN, director of nursing for Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
Then theres the chance to experience all four seasons, which affects the types of patients nurses treat from day to day, McCallister says.
It brings in different types of patients, she says. In the summer we get the boating accidents and bike accidents, and in the winter we get snowmobiling accidents and frostbite.