WORKPLACE VIOLENCE ON NURSES AND LEGISLATIVE
By Frantz R Mathieu
Empire state College
It is a reality in life, that whatever we are doing, we are somewhat exposed to some type of abuse from others. For many decades, nurses have been victim of all kind of aggressions. Everyday across the state, across America, nurses deal with pushing, shoving, punches, and bites. Some people say that it's part of the job; we don’t think so. If it’s not from the patient directly, it’s from a family member who thinks this is ok to be verbally or physically aggressive. Recently it has become a felony. The Violence against Nurses law went into effect March 2013, putting nurses into a protected group along with police officers, firefighters and emergency responders. A physical attack against a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse on duty is now a Class D felony subject to a maximum of seven years in prison.
After many years of nurses advocating for change, on August 13, 2010, with the approval of the Governor, and the legislature, subdivisions 3 and 11 of section 120.05 of the Penal Law was amended by adding Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses to the occupations protected under the law. Cases that were previously charged as misdemeanors will now be charged as Class D felonies, which carry a sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. All cases will be evaluated, and applies only to those tried in adult court. § 120.05 Assault in the second degree.
By adding RN’s and LPN’s to the listed occupations, the law now states: in part: “With intent to cause physical injury to a . . . registered nurse or licensed practical nurse he or she causes physical injury to such. . . registered nurse or licensed practical nurse . . . while such employee is performing an assigned duty.”
For this H.B 450 to be passed, this has taken quite some time. This has been presented to the House in more than one occasion. According to Papa & Venella,...