Gov. Walz signs order allowing healthcare workers from other states to work in Minnesota

An executive order signed by Governor Tim Walz will allow out-of-state healthcare workers to join the COVID-19 fight in Minnesota.

Under the order, qualified healthcare professionals from other states will be allowed to work in hospitals and other care facilities in Minnesota without a license from Minnesota.

The order comes as dozens of long-term care facilities have reported COVID-19 outbreaks, which in some cases has stressed staffing.

Last weekend, Meridian Manor in Wayzata, Minnesota was forced to move its patients to other facilities after a majority of its workers had either come down with COVID-19 or been forced into quarantine due to possible exposure.

But, in a statement, the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) bristled at the order, wondering why Minnesota health care facilities were going to bring in workers from other parts of the country, who they say will demand higher salaries, when so many Minnesota nurses are out of work due to the pandemic.

The association is referencing layoffs and furloughs at Minnesota hospitals that have come as the stay-at-home order has forced hospitals to cancel elective procedures.

"Despite efforts to negotiate with Minnesota Hospitals, the terms of these furloughs force nurses to either go without a paycheck or jeopardize their ability to return to work after the pandemic," wrote MNA officials.

"It’s irresponsible of Minnesota hospitals to prefer that skilled nurses receive unemployment overworking to create a simple solution that provides needed care for Minnesotans," they added.

The order takes effect immediately in Minnesota.