Worthington Nursing Excellence

A Champion for Nurses

The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between Sanford Health, Worthington Minnesota and Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) expires April 30, 2023.

Sanford Worthington is committed to negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with MNA that recognizes the significant contributions of our nurses while keeping health care affordable for those we serve.

This website is designed to provide our nurses with accurate and timely information during the negotiation process.

Together, we are working to make Sanford Worthington the best place to work and to receive care.

News and Updates

Competitive Wages and Benefits

Sanford Health has a long history of serving as an advocate for nurses. We are proud to recognize the important contributions of our nurses by offering competitive wages and benefits.

  • The average hourly base rate for RNs at Sanford Worthington is comparable to the average hourly base rate of RNs across the North Central Region of the United States.
    Source: 3rd party 2021 RN market salary surveys.
  • Additional premiums and incentives that stack on top of this base rate are offered for nights, weekends, holidays and on-call shifts.
  • MNA union dues – dues required to be part of MNA - are deducted from paycheck once a month. It costs Sanford Worthington nurses an average of $0.53 per hour for MNA union dues. For a full-time nurse working 32 hours per week, union membership costs ~$890 per year.

  • Sanford Worthington MNA nurses are eligible for benefits if they work 64+ hours per two-week pay period. Nurses working between 24-63 hours per pay period are eligible for part-time benefits.
  • Sanford Worthington MNA nurses are eligible for health, dental and vision insurance, long-term disability and many other optional benefits.
  • Review the summary of 2023 Worthington MNA Health and Welfare Benefits offerings.

Flexible Scheduling

With a growing variety of needs within the organization, Sanford Health offers more flexible scheduling options than ever. We collaborate with our nurses to develop family-friendly schedules that allow you to thrive in both your professional and personal life.

  • Ninety percent of Sanford Worthington’s registered nurses have chosen to be scheduled less than 40 hours per week. The average nurse at Sanford Worthington is scheduled an average of 32 hours per week.
  • Discussions with our nurses indicate that choice is based upon personal preference. Spending time with family and friends and having a stable income that affords them the standard of living they desire are the primary reasons our nurses do not feel they need a traditional 40 hour schedule.


Sanford Health embraces innovative solutions to address workforce challenges and alleviate administrative burdens so our nurses can focus on what you are passionate about — caring for our patients and residents.

  • We continue to aggressively recruit and hire nurses to not only fill open positions but also to address the national nursing shortage due to projected health care needs of an aging population.
  • Sanford Worthington offers educational events for Minnesota West Community and Technical College students interested in health care careers. Students can tour the medical center and hear from nurses as well as experts from the vast array of other health care occupations about opportunities in the field. In addition, Sanford Health signed a 10-year commitment to provide $110,000 per year to Worthington public schools, further demonstrating the organization’s deep-rooted commitment to community betterment for generations to come.
  • Sanford Worthington frequently engages with Minnesota West with upcoming events, Sponsorship information, and current job openings.
  • Additional recruiting efforts include but are not limited to:
    • Expanded social media engagement including LinkedIn and Facebook.
    • Generating leads by resume mining on Indeed and SeekOut.
    • Increased presence on free job boards including Handshake, College Central, MinnesotaWorks.net and Featured Jobs.
    • Hosting events to attract local candidates.
  • Additionally, Sanford Health is exploring alternative talent pipelines by recruiting nurses from around the world to meet our staffing needs, now and into the future.
  • In the past twelve months, Sanford Worthington has hired 61 employees, including RNs, LPNs, nursing leads and patient support services staff including certified medical assistants, nursing assistants and nursing technicians. Of the total amount hired, 12 have been in the registered nurse job family.
  • If there is ever a concern about staffing, our nursing leaders respond to understand and address the issue. Additionally, Sanford Worthington and MNA have a meeting each month to review any staffing concerns and continually work to improve schedules for nurses.

Professional Growth and Development

We believe in investing in educational and leadership programs that develop RNs for future leadership roles and always strive to promote from within. As a nurse at Sanford Worthington, you are supported by people who value your professional growth and development.

Nurse Internship Program
The Sanford Student Nurse Internship Program is a hands-on, 10-week, paid internship that will expand clinical skills and knowledge under the guidance of an experienced nurse preceptor.

Nurse Residency Program
The Sanford Health Nurse Residency Program (NRP) is accredited with distinction as a Practice Transition Program by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs. All new RN graduates that are hired into a facility with the program are enrolled in this innovative program.

The program provides nurse residents with strategies for personal growth and well-being while also developing clinical judgment and leadership skills. The 12-month program is offered in association with the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program.

Continuing Education
We offer a variety of in-person and virtual continuing education credits and educational offerings that cover many specialties. Many of these offerings are free of charge or at reduced costs for employees. CNA, LPN and RN sponsorships, annual scholarships and an employee assistance program are available to assist current and future nursing staff with furthering their education. Learn more about scholarships.

Specialty Certifications
Sanford Health is committed to assisting our nurses with achieving their national certification by providing preparation courses, as well as assisting with costs associated for the initial certification and recertification. There are over 350 national certifications that employees can access internally, and we encourage all our nurses to get certified.

Leadership Opportunities
Sanford Worthington is continually looking for nurses to work in key leadership roles. Leadership training, mentoring, coaching and precepting opportunities are provided at all levels.

Worthington nurses in leadership roles include:

  • Jennifer Weg, Executive Director
  • Rebecca Bosma, Manager, Nursing Inpatient
  • Kylie Turner, Supervisor, Nursing Ambulatory
  • Kristin Olson, Director, Nursing and Clinical Services
  • Kaitlin Bullerman, Manager, Nursing Inpatient
  • Jena Versteeg, Manager, Nursing Inpatient
  • DeeDee Telkamp, Manager, Nursing Inpatient

Sanford World Clinic Global Nurse Mentor Program
The Sanford World Clinic Global Nurse Mentor Program is an opportunity to impact care across the globe by participating in a shared learning experience with one of Sanford’s international partners. Recently, six Sanford nurses traveled overseas for global mentorship.

Grow, Succeed, Advance
There are many other areas of growth which our nurses can use to prepare themselves for career advancement while remaining in their role within their department.

There are a variety of councils, teams, and committees for involvement. Many of these are made up of staff who share a common interest in solving the concerns, or challenges associated with a variety of health care related topics. Memberships in local councils gives our nurses an opportunity to work with a variety of staff from different disciplines in the region, all of whom share a passion for a specific goal to improve care.

Investing in Patient Care

Sanford Health is dedicated to the work of health and healing, and we continually work to transform the health care experience and provide access to world-class health care close to home.

  • Sanford Worthington Medical Center, southwestern Minnesota’s largest medical center, offers more than 50 health care services, houses 48 licensed beds and serves over 21,000 Worthington and surrounding-area residents. Since acquiring the Worthington Medical Center in 2008, Sanford Health has invested $21 million in capital improvement projects.
  • Sanford Worthington Medical Center offers expert care close to home. Additionally, the medical center is home to several specialty clinics, including:
  • The city of Worthington, Minnesota, is a vibrant and diverse community representing a wide range of cultures and backgrounds. According to the 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment, 32% of residents in Worthington’s Nobles County speak a language other than English at home, as compared to the state average of 12%. More than 40 languages are spoken at Worthington’s largest employer, JBS.
  • In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanford Health collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Health to bring large-scale testing to this rural community. It was a regional Sanford effort to communicate test results, provide education, and deliver acute and follow-up care in multiple languages in a culturally acceptable manner during the pandemic. Sanford Worthington led the community organization to later deliver vaccines to the general and special populations.
  • To improve health care access in the community, Sanford Worthington has since hired Hispanic community health workers. These caregivers help connect patients with community resources and social services and develop strategies to help them better understand and improve their health. Sanford Worthington assists individuals with their social determinants of health and is a collaborative partner with the community’s work to address health equity.
  • Sanford Health continues to invest in technology and programs that reduce the amount of time nurses spend on non-clinical tasks. Streamlining our operations enables our nurses to spend more time on what you are passionate about – caring for our patients and residents.
  • Sanford Worthington Cancer Center is a designated research site for the Minnesota Cancer Clinical Trials Network. The collaboration provides Worthington’s rural population with greater access to the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program’s clinical trials and innovative treatments. To date, the Cancer Center has opened 27 clinical trials with a total of 205 enrollments.
  • In late 2020, Sanford Worthington invested $3.4 million to install a TrueBeam linear accelerator for enhanced cancer treatment. The device delivers high-energy x-rays that conform to the specific size, shape and location of a tumor. It gives Sanford Health providers in Worthington the ability to target and destroy cancerous cells in a precise area of the body, with minimal exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. The linear accelerator cuts treatment time for some patients, while offering enhanced imagining.
  • In 2021, we announced a landmark Virtual Care Initiative as part of our commitment to transform health care for patients living in rural and underserved areas. Virtual care makes it possible for patients to see a provider or specialist wherever they are. The Virtual Care Initiative is taking access to the next level. Our expertise comes together with the latest technology to deliver more care options when, where and how our patients need them. Learn more about the Virtual Care Initiative

Sanford Worthington named top rural & community hospital
Sanford Worthington Medical Center was named one of the top 100 rural and community hospitals in the United States. The Chartis Center for Rural Health, which provides thorough analytics to the healthcare industry recently released its 2022 list for “Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals,” which included Sanford Worthington Medical Center.

This recognition demonstrates the medical center’s value to rural communities in the region as well as Sanford Health’s commitment to achieving higher quality care and better patient outcomes.

Why Sanford Worthington is a Great Place to Work

With a commitment to diversity and inclusion, our journey as an organization includes continually building on the diverse talents, experiences and beliefs of our employees, as well as the patients, residents and communities we serve. 

Your well-being matters. That’s why Sanford Worthington offers our employees and their families access to a variety of resources for extra support whenever it is needed. Taking time to focus on the six dimensions of well-being (physical, emotional, spiritual, professional, financial, social) allows you and your family to thrive in all areas of life.

In partnership with VITAL WorkLife, Sanford's Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides access to free counseling, coaching and support services available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nurses and family members can access these services at your convenience including in-the-moment support, phone consultations, face-to-face counseling, nurse peer coaching, educator peer coaching, legal and financial services and identity theft prevention and support.

Workplace Violence Prevention
Along with the Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA), Sanford Health believes our hospitals and clinics should be places of safety and healing for caregivers, patients and visitors. Sanford Worthington continually collaborates with nurses on preventative measures to reduce the potential for workplace violence. Focus areas include environmental controls, patient and visitor screening processes, and staff training. Staff have been trained in Management of Aggressive Behavior (MOAB) since 2016.

Military and Veterans Services
Sanford Health has the utmost respect for our military members and we provide them with exceptional care and employment opportunities they deserve. View a full list of benefits and featured career opportunities for veterans and military service members.

Sanford Health has been recognized for its commitment to veterans and active military employees. The health care system landed in the top 10 on the 2023 Military Friendly® Employer list and 2023 Military Spouse Friendly Employer list. In November, Sanford Health was recognized at no. 4 on the Best for Vets: Employers List by Military Times. This is the fourth year in a row Sanford Health has been recognized as a Military Friendly® Employer and the first year being featured on the Military Friendly® Spouse Employer list.

AMA employee well-being recognition
The American Medical Association honored Sanford Health as a recipient of the 2021 Joy in Medicine, one of 44 health systems recognized for their commitment to health care team well-being and programs to combat work-related stress and burnout for clinicians.

“Though our footprint is large, we still have a constant community feel. Everyone knows everyone. We are taking care of our family, friends and community members every day. We have an incredible culture of nursing. It’s about innovation. It’s about discovery. It’s about allowing that voice of nursing to be at the forefront. Our shared governance structure stretches across our entire Sanford nursing community, including the Good Samaritan Society as well as in our ambulatory and acute care settings where our front-line teams’ brilliance can be shared to help us solve the challenges we are navigating.” – Erica DeBoer, chief nursing officer, Sanford Health

Investing in our Community

Making our communities stronger and healthier is at the core of everything we do at Sanford Health. As the nation’s premier rural health system, we’re committed to delivering world-class health care no matter where you live. Our care extends beyond our medical centers and clinics. We’re active in the communities we serve and invest substantial resources to drive more opportunities and better health for all.

  • Over the past five years, Sanford Health has contributed $385,000 in community donations, including investments in local entities such as the YMCA, community events and city fundraisers as well as donations to local public schools.
  • In 2008, Sanford Health donated $5 million to start the Worthington Regional Healthcare Foundation. The Foundation has since provided grants to local community and youth programs as well as scholarships to rising health care professionals.
  • In 2019, Sanford Health donated $1 million to Worthington’s Independent School District 518. The gift was used to renovate the high school’s Trojan Field, also utilized by Minnesota West Community College athletic teams. Along with a new stadium and athletic turf field, the gift provided a nine-lane track, new bleachers, scoreboard, play clock and concession area. As the exclusive sports medicine provider for the local high school and community college, Sanford Health funded an additional athletic trainer to support Worthington’s student-athletes.
  • Sanford Health is a collaborative partner with Our Lady of Guadalupe Free Clinic (OLGFC), which provides health care to uninsured patients through large periodic clinics and telehealth services.
  • At the free clinic, Sanford Health Cooperative nurses, therapists and community health workers provide weekly follow-up care to those with chronic conditions and assist to address social determinants of health. The clinic recently relocated to a Sanford-owned building at 616 11th St. Read more about our partnership.
  • We are committed to extending care beyond our bricks and mortar. It is through this work that we identify unmet health needs in the community, and then strategically plan how to best address those needs. For more information refer to the 2022-2024 Sanford Worthington Community Needs Health Assessment.

Leading our communities through COVID-19

Throughout the pandemic, Sanford Health partnered with businesses, schools, state and city leaders and other health systems across the upper Midwest, to support and guide our communities—a reminder that we are stronger together.

  • In early 2020, Sanford Health announced a plan to help our hourly workers most impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic Including nurses, this $21.6 million investment included a one-time stability payment, three months of paid health insurance premiums and PTO flexibility.
  • Sanford’s commitment to its people included innovative programs to support employee well-being, and early mission-critical investments allowed the organization to expand testing and hospital bed capacity for COVID-19 patients across the region.
  • At the height of the pandemic, Sanford administered life-saving monoclonal antibodies, offered an innovative home-monitoring program and delivered the vaccine to hundreds of thousands of people across a vast, geographic footprint and advanced research to bring new treatments – and hope – to its patients.
  • Sanford Health has a long-standing partnership with JBS in Worthington. During the pandemic, our staff provided COVID-19 vaccinations for 1,700 JBS employees onsite through workplace vaccination events. Events of this magnitude show how nimble Sanford Health is, and how much the Sanford team cares about each and every member of the community.
  • When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Sanford Family raised more than $1.6 million for the Employee Crisis Fund. Because of that generosity, more than 1,800 colleagues and their families have been able to put food on the table, pay monthly bills and simply make ends meet during a time of unprecedented challenges.
  • The pandemic placed extraordinary stress on our health care teams and contributed to higher rates of mental health challenges. Sanford Health has led efforts to combat work-related stress and burnout through resiliency groups, trainings, a clinical assistance program, counseling, a physician wellness council and comprehensive mental health resources to help our employees take care of themselves physically and emotionally while caring for patients on the frontlines.

Through this COVID-19 Impact Report, Sanford Health leaders describe how the organization and its caregivers responded to the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.

Myth Busters

Myth: The cost of living is similar in Worthington compared to Minneapolis.
Fact: Overall, Minneapolis is nearly 42% more expensive than Worthington. The cost of living index for Worthington is 74.2 (lower than Minneapolis which is 105) and lower the U.S. average of 100. An index score below 100 means the cost of living is cheaper than the U.S. average – above 100 means more expensive. The median home cost is the biggest factor in the cost of living difference. The median home cost is 105.5% more expensive in Minneapolis compared to Worthington.
Source: https://www.bestplaces.net/cost-of-living/worthington-mn/minneapolis-mn/50000

Myth: Pay for Sanford Worthington nurses is not competitive.
Fact: The average hourly base rate for RNs at Sanford Worthington is comparable to the average hourly base rate of RNs across the North Central Region of the United States. Additional premiums and incentives that stack on top of this base rate are offered for nights, weekends, holidays and on-call shifts.
Source: 3rd party 2021 RN market salary surveys

Myth: There is not a nationwide nursing shortage, there is just a shortage of nurses willing to work in these conditions.
Fact: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2021-2031, the Registered Nursing (RN) workforce is expected to grow by 6% over the next decade. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 3.1 million in 2021 to 3.3 million in 2031, an increase of 195,400 nurses. The Bureau also projects 203,200 openings for RNs each year through 2031 when nurse retirements and workforce exits are factored into the number of nurses needed in the U.S.

Compounding the problem is the fact that nursing schools across the country are struggling to expand capacity to meet the rising demand for care. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is collaborating with schools, policy makers, nursing organizations, and the media to bring attention to this healthcare concern. The AACN is leveraging its resources to shape legislation, identify strategies, and form collaborations to address the shortage.

Myth: Sanford Worthington is not hiring additional nurses.
Fact: Sanford Worthington has hired 61 employees, including RNs, LPNs, nursing leads and patient support services staff including certified medical assistants, nursing assistants and nursing technicians. Of the total amount hired, 12 have been in the registered nurse job family.

Myth: Sanford Worthington management does not listen to the staffing needs of nurses.
Fact:If there is ever a concern about staffing, our nursing supervisors respond to understand and address the issue.

Additionally, Sanford Worthington and MNA have a meeting each month to review any staffing concerns and continually work to improve schedules for nurses. There is a nursing manager for all units and House Supervisor 24/7, which allows for continuous leadership presence and support for staff.

Myth: Sanford Worthington is hiring agency nurses from other countries.
Fact: Staffing shortages in nursing are widespread across our footprint and innovative staffing solutions are needed to address the challenges of hiring enough nurses. Sanford Health is exploring alternative pipelines by recruiting nurses from around the world to meet our staffing needs, now and into the future. However, these internationally trained nurses will be employed and not agency staff, and will be represented by MNA upon hire.

Myth: MNA union membership is free.
Fact: It costs Sanford Worthington nurses an average of $0.53 per hour for MNA union dues. For a full-time nurse working 32 hours per week, it costs ~$890 per year to belong to the MNA. Stated otherwise, MNA union dues cost an estimated $35,000 over the course of a nurse’s 40-year career.

Myth: There is no need for a professional mediator for labor negotiations.
Fact: A mediator is an impartial professional trained to assist in helping two sides come to a fair agreement. The Federal Government provides mediators as a free resource to help with negotiations and to prevent labor stoppages because of the damage they cause. Sanford Worthington has historically worked with mediators in labor negotiations.

Myth: Sanford Worthington could have done more to support nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fact: Within the past three years, Sanford Worthington created multiple initiatives to support nurses during their patient care shifts. Free and confidential emotional support was and still is available 24/7 to Sanford Worthington nurses, including counseling and peer coaching.

We were steadfast in our infection prevention measures, and staff were given the tools and protective equipment they needed. In the first year of the pandemic, we held live town halls where nurses could get the latest updates and ask leaders questions directly. We also sent out weekly COVID-19 updates - a summary of relevant COVID-19 updates and resources to share during team huddles. All town halls, updates and resources were also made available to all nurses whether they were at work or at home. Patient Care

Myth: All care should happen within a hospital or clinic.
Fact: Sanford Health’s virtual care offerings began with telehealth services over a decade ago. Its purpose is to increase accessibility and support patient care delivery through the use of technology with an emphasis on rural communities. In 2021, we announced a landmark Virtual Care Initiative as part of our commitment to transform health care for patients living in rural and underserved areas. Virtual care makes it possible for patients to see a provider or specialist wherever they are. The Virtual Care Initiative is taking access and care to the next level. Our expertise comes together with the latest technology to deliver more care options when, where and how you need them.

Myth: Sanford Worthington’s spending on charity care is the only community investment the system makes.
Fact: Sanford Worthington provides charity care, as do many hospital systems, which only represents a portion of total community investment. Between direct giving, charity care and paid volunteer time off we have averaged nearly $4.5 million per year over the last five years. Sanford Health has a strong history of financially contributing to the community and will continue to do so as a mission-based organization.

Myth: Denny Sanford owns and operates Sanford Health.
Fact: Denny Sanford is a generous benefactor for Sanford Health but has no formal role within the organization. Throughout the years, Denny Sanford helped to make Sanford Health a leader in the health care industry through his incredible philanthropic gifts. Because of his generosity, we have developed unique initiatives that are making a positive impact in the lives of people here in the upper Midwest and across the globe.

Myth: Sanford Health’s intention to merge with Fairview Health will affect our new contract.
Fact: The recent announcement of Sanford Health’s plans to merge with Fairview Health has no material impact on the current negotiations with Sanford Worthington and MNA. Until the close of the deal, Sanford and Fairview will continue to operate independently, as separate entities. For more information, please visit StrengtheningCareTogether.com

Myth: Sanford Health executives, like former President and CEO of Sanford Health, Kelby Krabbenhoft, receive excessive payouts when they depart the organization.
Fact: Legacy defined benefit retirement plans, like the one Mr. Krabbenhoft received, no longer exist at Sanford Health. The payments made in 2020 conclude Sanford Health’s financial obligations to Mr. Krabbenhoft. Separation pay for departing executives, as reported in Sanford Health’s IRS Form 990, is externally benchmarked by a third party and reviewed by legal counsel. It is based on several factors, including years of service, contractual obligations and circumstances of their departure. In every review, the payment has been deemed appropriate.

Myth: Sanford Health has too many executives in their C-Suite.
Fact: Since becoming president and CEO of Sanford Health, Bill Gassen has cut the size of the executive team in half and continues to be focused on finding additional ways to reduce corporate administration expenses. This is an important improvement that will better focus our work and reduce expense, allowing Sanford Health to maximize our investments in our people and frontline caregivers.

Myth: Sanford’s executives are paid too much.
Fact: Our goal is to provide reasonable and competitive compensation to all employees compared to health care organizations of a similar size and complexity. For the entire Sanford Family, we continue to invest in compensation increases to ensure pay is fair and equitable, while staying competitive with the local market. For executives and physicians, we use survey data to ensure pay is in-line with market-based compensation. Our executive compensation has been consistently benchmarked with the help of an independent firm, Sullivan Cotter, to ensure it compares with other large non-profit health care systems of our size and scale.