County to improve pitch to potential nurses after none apply for public health, a news item from a week ago in the Morrison County Record, caught our eye. Staff writer Tyler Jensen reports:
County staff said it needs to be able to offer nurses better pay so they will work at Public Health.
A new nurse is needed to replace one who left. Public Health Director Katy Kirchner said without the position, her department would need to cut programs dealing with maternal and child care, as well as case work with elderly residents.
County Administrator Deb Gruber said there [haven't] been any . . . applicants. . . .
Jensen notes that other counties and rural hospitals are having similar problems, and that Morrison County Board voted to re-advertise the position, bumping the starting pay up to $66,290 a year. Read the entire article at the Record.
Who pays for public health programs in Minnesota? According to the Minnesota Department of Health's web page on Minnesota's Public Health System:
Minnesota’s public health system can best be described as a state and local partnership. It was created with the passage of the Community Health Services Act (Minn. Stat. § 145A) in 1976, which was subsequently revised in 1987 and 2003. Now called the Local Public Health Act, the legislation delineates the responsibilities of the state (MDH) and city and county governments in the planning, development, funding, and delivery of public health services.
If and when the Republican legislature starts talking about belt-tighting for government so that taxes can be cut, will the cost for greater Minnesota counties to recruit skilled staff be weighed--or will all Minnesotans who follow through on the hard work required to become a health care professionals simply be asked to accept pay and benefit cuts to subvent those tax breaks? Will state general revenues that now pay for public health programs be shifted to other needs like roads?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Photo: Once upon a time, recruiting public health nurses to rural areas wasn't too difficult.
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