For Immediate Release
Contact: Erin Silk, 518.782.9400, ext 224
ALBANY, Jan. 27, 2011 – The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), the New York Organization of Nurse Executives (NYONE) and the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) have partnered to produce and distribute a poster designed to raise awareness of the serious problem of violence against nurses and support safer working environments in healthcare facilities. The poster, which is being mailed to hospitals and healthcare facilities around the state, informs people that it is a felony to assault a nurse who is on duty.
“Many people don’t realize the magnitude of the problem of violence against nurses. We hope that this clear, visual reminder of the legal consequences will encourage people to take a step back when situations get hot,” said Tina Gerardi, MS, RN, CAE, CEO of the Nurses Association, the state's largest professional association and union for registered nurses.
The poster features a red stop sign on a black background with the text: “Assaulting a nurse is a shame. And it’s a crime. It’s a felony in New York State to assault a nurse on duty.”
The law that makes it a felony to assault a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) while on duty went into effect on November 1, 2010. A number of factors, including the fact that many healthcare facilities are open and accessible 24 hours a day, that nurses are often relatively isolated in their work, the availability of medications, and the innate stress of a healthcare setting, combine to create situations in which nurses experience a very high risk of violence at work. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly 500,000 nurses a year are victims of workplace violence.
“Every nurse deserves to be safe at work, but a safe work environment not only benefits nurses, it is also good for patients,” said Claire Murray, MS, RN, CNAA, executive director of NYONE, a professional organization for nurses who design, facilitate, influence, and manage healthcare services in New York State.
“Healthcare institutions across New York are committed to the safety of employees and preventing violence in the workplace. We fully support this effort to raise awareness of this serious issue, and we urge facilities to display these posters prominently,” said Daniel Sisto, president of HANYS, a non-profit organization representing New York State’s healthcare systems and hospitals.
HANYS, the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, represents more than 550 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other healthcare organizations.
NYONE is the professional organization for nurses who design, facilitate, influence, and manage healthcare services in New York State. NYONE has as a goal to recruit members who are leaders from academia, long term care, home care, acute care and other service organizations to broaden and enrich our membership.
NYSNA is the voice for nursing in the Empire State. With more than 37,000 members, it is the state's largest professional association and union for registered nurses. It supports nurses and nursing practice through education, research, legislative advocacy, and collective bargaining.
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