Nurses applaud Irwin plan to protect health care workers from violence

LANSING – The Michigan Nurses Association today applauded introduction of a bipartisan plan aimed at reducing violence against nurses and other health care workers on the job.

“Everyone is calling our health care workers heroes these days, yet too often they are the victims of violence on the job and not enough is being done to protect them,” said Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), sponsor of the Senate bill. “We owe it to nurses and other health care workers to do everything possible to prevent violence against them, and that’s what this legislation does. Let’s put our words into action and make sure health care workers are protected so they can do their jobs without being put in harm’s way.”

The bill requires hospitals and public health departments to:

  • Develop plans to prevent workplace violence with input from nurses and other frontline healthcare workers.
  • Provide training and reporting procedures for employees.
  • Track and disclose incidents of violence.

The incidence of workplace violence against health care workers is on the rise. Healthcare workers accounted for 73 percent of all nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses due to violence in 2018, according to government statistics. 1 Most violent incidents are committed by patients.

“While we are focusing right now on the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t forget that nurses and other health care workers continue to deal with abuse on the job on an often daily basis,” said Jamie Brown, RN, a critical care nurse who is president of the Michigan Nurses Association.

“Nurses shouldn’t have to put up with being punched, kicked, bitten, beaten, choked, and assaulted. We appreciate Senator Irwin’s leadership in advocating for action that will help prevent these violent incidents in the first place.”



Contact: Dawn Kettinger, 517-721-9688

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