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The American Nurses Association (ANA) defines workplace violence as: “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior from patients, patient’s family members, external individuals, and hospital personnel. It includes physical, sexual, and psychological assaults” (ANA, n.d.).
Many nurses have been the victims of workplace violence, and unfortunately, many incidents go underreported. Through various surveys from across the nation, the ANA has found that 40% of the nurses surveyed do not report violent incidents because they believe that nothing will be done (Trossman, 2019). In addition, a 2019/2020 ANA survey of 6,000 nurses revealed that violence and bullying are included in the top twelve workplace hazards (Weger, 2022).
The ANA is a strong advocate for ending workplace violence. Prompted by the violent arrest of Alex Wubbels in 2017, a registered nurse from Utah, by a police officer, the ANA increased its efforts to enact the #EndNurseAbuse initiative. This initiative is the driving force of ANA’s efforts to enact federal and state regulations in stopping workplace violence for nurses. The initiative is backed by a political steering committee composed of eighteen nurses from around the United States and an advisory committee of approximately 250 nurses (Trossman, 2019).
The ANA’s steering committee and advisory committee has spread awareness of workplace violence through webinars, letters, position statements, guidelines, and podcasts. Their efforts, along with collaboration from leaders of the states’ board of nursing, has led to enactment of legislation regarding workplace violence in this nurse’s state of Oregon, the Oregon Healthcare Worker Protection Act (Trossman, 2019).
At federal level, the ANA’s initiative to end workplace violence has gained momentum through the passage of House Bill 1195, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Healthcare and Social Service Workers Act. The passage of House Bill 1195 was the result of ANA’s collaboration with leaders in Congress, the Department of Labor, and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. ANA leaders are currently working with Senator Baldwin to obtain a Republican cosponsor to introduce the bill in the Senate (Widmer, 2021).
Nurses can show support for ending workplace violence by texting ‘PLEDGE’ to 52886 and sharing this message on social media (ANA n.d.). The use of social media through various digital platforms will enable greater connection and engagement with other nurses and key leaders around the country (Patton, et al., 2019).
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Nurse staffing shortages have been an issue that healthcare has struggled with for decades. These staffing shortages have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the point of a healthcare crisis (American Nurses Association, n.d.-c). The American Nurses Association (ANA) is taking action to address the nursing shortage in order to maintain the safety, quality, and compassion of the care nurses provide. ANA is calling upon Congress to act in making nurses feel valued through the passage of the Future Advancement of Academic Nursing Act (American Nurses Association, n.d.-b). Senate Bill 246 (2021) calls for authorization of the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide nursing schools with grants that will increase their ability to respond to public health emergencies and pandemics, as well as enhance nursing education programs. While awarding the grants, prioritization should be given to historically Black nursing schools, minority-serving schools, those in communities with medical disadvantages, and finally, schools located in areas with healthcare professional shortages.
ANA formulated the policy agenda for this issue through inclusive advocation via their website, creation of staffing committees, publication of written letters to government bodies, and participation in a Nurse Staffing Task Force (American Nurses Association, n.d.-a,c). One click on their Nurse Staffing page allows nurses, patients, and loved-ones to send a letter to congress addressing the nursing shortage (American Nurses Association, n.d.-b). This provides easy access for the public to take part in the policy initiative. Additionally, ANA took action to write to the US Department of Health and Human Services in 2021 urging them to declare the nurse staffing shortage a national crisis (McClendon & Proctor, 2021). Included in their letter were policy solutions they expected of the administration such as providing resources for recruitment and retention incentives and working with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to promote payment equity and remove barriers to Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) practice (McClendon & Proctor, 2021). Many professional organizations assembled to create a task force focused on the nursing shortage; ANA is one of the key stakeholders in what is called the “Nurse Staffing Think Tank” (Partners for Nurse Staffing Think Tank, 2022). The purpose of this think tank is to gather representatives from professional healthcare organizations, subject matter experts, and patient and family advocates to develop recommendations that can be implemented at a national level regarding the nursing shortage (Partners for Nurse Staffing Think Tank, 2022). Through all of these modalities, ANA is spreading awareness and urgency surrounding the nurse staffing policy initiative.
1 peer response on this The American Nurses Association (ANA) defines workplace – graduate researcher
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