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nurses strike in minnesota

Nurses striking in Minnesota | PBS NewsHour

September 20, 2022

Why 15,000 Nurses Went on Strike in Minnesota

Ask Students: Who is interviewed in this story, and what are their backgrounds? What were the demands of the striking nurses?

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Summary

Nurses in Minnesota organized the largest strike of private sector nurses in U.S. history this past week, with 15,000 nurses walking off the job for three days. The walkout ended without a new contract, but the nurses continue to push for better working conditions. While the pandemic pushed many nurses to the brink, some say the burnout was years in the making. Issues like compensation, paid family leave and workplace violence and protections were cited as key reasons the nurses went on strike at 13 different hospitals. For a transcript of this story, click here.

Discussion Questions

  • Who is interviewed in this story, and what are their backgrounds?
  • What were the demands of the striking nurses?
  • How have hospital choices led to the need to strike, according to those interviewed here?
  • When did staffing issues become a serious problem, according to this story?
  • Why is staffing levels one of the key issues that have led to the strike?

Focus Questions

What do you think are the impacts on the larger community when nurses are overworked? How do you think the problem should be addressed now that COVID continues to affect hospital systems but fewer extra resources are available from federal and state governments?

Media Literacy: Who else would you want to hear from to better understand what is happening in hospitals across the country right now?

Additional Exercise

Is the health care system in your area under strain years after the COVID epidemic impacted staffing and funding? Research local news sources to find out.

Republished with permisison from PBS NewsHour Classroom. 

PBS NewsHour Classroom

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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