Emergency Department Nurses Take To Capitol Hill

April 17, 2024 Day on the Hill Emergency Nurses Association ENA Government Relations Workplace Violence

Nurses are advocating for the passage of workplace violence and pediatric bills

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 17, 2023) – Emergency nurses are strong advocates for the laws and tools they need to be safe at work and sufficiently prepared to care for all their patients. Emergency nurses from nearly every state gathered in Washington, D.C., this week for the Emergency Nurses Association’s annual Day on the Hill advocacy event.

As part of Day on the Hill, ENA members called on Congress to reauthorize funding for the Emergency Medical Services for Children program and to pass laws aimed at reducing workplace violence in health care. Specifically, the EMSC Reauthorization Act (H.R. 6960/S. 3765) is an ENA priority this year because of its importance as the only federal program dedicated to improving emergency care for children. Authority for the EMSC program is set to lapse on Sept. 30 if Congress does not reauthorize it.

“It’s exciting to see so many ED nurses passionate about advocacy,” said ENA President Chris Dellinger MBA, BSN, RN, FAEN. “The EMSC reauthorization ensures that EDs and EMS personnel have access to appropriate medication, equipment, training and systems through various grants aimed at improving care for pediatric patients.”

ENA also continues to be a leading voice for legislation aimed at reducing the frequency and severity of workplace violence against emergency nurses. The association supports the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 2663/S. 1176) which directs OSHA to require health care and social service employers to develop and implement workplace violence prevention plans that are worker-driven and comprehensive to ensure the safety of patients and workers. ENA also backs the Support the Safety From Violence for Healthcare Employees Act (H.R. 2584/S. 2768). There is currently no federal law that protects hospital employees from assault or intimidation. The SAVE Act would mirror protections for aircraft and airport workers and would allow extra tools for prosecutors to charge individuals threatening hospitals and their workers.

“We know workplace violence is a problem in the emergency department but many times it goes unreported. This doesn’t give an accurate representation of how extensive it truly is,” said Dellinger. “Whether it’s verbal or physical assault, no one should go to work and expect that kind of treatment. Stronger statistics will allow our legislators to see how big this problem truly is.”


The Emergency Nurses Association 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 50,000 members worldwide, ENA advocates for patient safety, develops industry-leading practice standards and guidelines and guides emergency health care public policy. ENA members have expertise in triage, patient care, disaster preparedness, and all aspects of emergency care. Additional information is available at www.ena.org.

ENA Media Contact

Dan Campana

Director of Communications