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Ely Hospital Adminsitrator John Fossum tells a state House committee Wednesday that setting minimum nurse staffing requirements could be a problem for rural hospitals. Danielle Killey | Forum News Service

Nursing: Rural concerns raised over hospital staffing

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ST. PAUL – Rural hospitals could suffer under a proposal aimed at improving patient care, some health care officials and lawmakers say.

Ely hospital administrator John Fossum said a bill that would set state standards for how many registered nurses are on duty “could kill people.”

He said hospitals that would be considered understaffed under the propposed standards might have to send patients to other facilities, and the closest hospital to Ely’s is 50 miles away.

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