Nurses to share experiences on front lines during COVID-19 with state lawmakers

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Minnesota lawmakers will hear from nurses about their experiences and needs on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.

A recent survey of 1,000 Minnesota nurses shows that less than 5 percent of nurses felt the state was prepared for the pandemic.

Now, they’re entering the second day of the less restrictive "Stay Safe MN" order and still have significant concerns.

"Supposedly the (personal protective equipment) PPE situation is under control and we have enough of it," Mary Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA), said. "I’m here to tell you that that is not the case at all."

The MNA produced the survey of nurses, and members said this is going to be a busy week for them.

Not only are Turner and other members testifying about their experiences at work and the PPE situation Tuesday, but some will also picket in front of the Minnesota Capitol Wednesday to boost their message.

Turner says stress is high and the fear of losing one of their own is even higher.

"I dread the day that I have you all in front of me and I’m having to announce the first MNA nurse, or the first nurse in Minnesota that has died because of COVID because they, he or she was not protected on the front line that they’re supposed to be."

MNA members said they will testify Tuesday to address how the state is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the legislative session ending, this is a select group that has been allowed to continue to meet with lawmakers.

At 12:30 p.m., members of the MNA will be sharing their experiences with the Minnesota House select committee.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and for updates.