Mayo Clinic Health System opens jobs ahead of Albert Lea, Austin transition

Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic Health System seeks to fill more than 100 nursing positions as part of its plans to move certain services at its campus in Albert Lea, Minn., to its campus in Austin, Minn.

In the next couple years, Mayo will consolidate Albert Lea's inpatient surgeries, overnight hospitalization, maternity and intensive care at the Austin campus. The health system's plans also include moving Austin's inpatient Psychiatric Services Unit to Albert Lea, as well as adding observation beds to the Albert Lea emergency department.

In preparation for this transition, Mayo has posted job opportunities for nurses, nursing assistants and health unit coordinators at both locations, according to hospital officials.

"As we continue our work of transitioning certain hospital services between our Albert Lea and Austin campuses, our staff is experiencing the uncertainty that can come with change," said Diane Twedell, DNP, MSN, RN, CNO of Mayo Clinic Health System Southeast Minnesota region. "They have asked us — and our communities have asked us — to provide as much clarity as we can about what the future looks like."

According to Dr. Twedell, Mayo is encouraging current staff members to apply for positions that will be available in the future. The system will hold the positions for those who are hired.

The Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota and the Minnesota Nurses Association, which have been vocal opponents of Mayo's plans in Albert Lea and Austin, took issue with the most recent jobs announcement.

"Mayo is asking nurses to commit now to take jobs that won't exist for up to a year and a half exponentially increases the uncertainty that employees already have about their futures," said MNA President Mary Turner. "Mayo is once again causing more anxiety among employees and going against what they said they were going to do. This raises the question of Mayo's true motivation about the actual timeline for closing the Albert Lea units."

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota President Jamie Gulley expressed similar sentiments.

"As has been the case with this whole process, the details are murky for community members, but the track record indicates this will almost certainly mean more profits for Mayo executives at the expense of the jobs and healthcare of Albert Lea families," Mr. Gulley said. "If this were being done in good faith, it wouldn't be a surprise to employees."


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