PLAINES, Ill., June 20, 2014 – As workplace violence increasingly threatens
emergency departments across the country, the Emergency
Nurses Association congratulates Louisiana for becoming the latest state to make it a felony to
physically attack an emergency nurse. Gov. Bobby Jindal signed H.B. 1077 into law on June 18.
unanimous approval of this bill shows there is bipartisan support in Louisiana
in favor of addressing the growing problem of violence directed at healthcare
workers,” said ENA president Deena Brecher, MSN, RN, APN, ACNS-BC, CEN, CPEN. “The
Louisiana Emergency Nurses Association successfully worked to bring this issue
to the forefront, and we’re thrilled with the outcome. We hope Louisiana law
enforcement officials will rigorously enforce this important new law.”
released earlier this year in the Journal of Emergency Nursing shows that more than 70
percent of emergency nurses encountered physical or verbal assault by patients
or visitors while they were providing care in the emergency setting. Several
factors such as long wait times, patient boarding, patients with a history of
violence and patients under the influence of drugs or alcohol significantly
contributed to the violence.
Louisiana joins thirty other states that have enacted laws making it a felony
to assault or batter an emergency nurse. Most recently, Ohio, Texas, Illinois
and Idaho joined the list of states that have strengthened their laws
protecting emergency nurses against violence. ENA is committed to making this
crime a felony in all 50 states.
About the Emergency Nurses
Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) is the premier professional nursing
association dedicated to defining the future of emergency nursing through
advocacy, education, research, innovation, and leadership. Founded in 1970, ENA has proven to be an
indispensable resource to the global emergency nursing community. With more than 40,000 members
worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice
standards and guidelines, and guides emergency healthcare public policy. ENA
members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and
nearly all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at www.ena.org.