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American Nurses Association launches #EndNurseAbuse initiative

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Bolstered by the #MeToo movement, the ANA seeks to shed light on workplace abuse against nurses, particularly sexual harassment and assault. 

Earlier this month, the American Nurses Association (ANA) released a statement in support of the #TimesUpNow movement that promotes accountability and consequences for abuse, harassment, sexual assault, and inequality in the workplace. As a way to focus on the abuse faced by nurses every day, the ANA launched the #EndNurseAbuse initiative, which highlights stories about violence against nurses and promote policy change in healthcare organizations. According to the statement, this movement includes eliminating sexual harassment as well.

“Nurse safety is a critical component to ensure quality and safe care. ‘Time’s up’ for employers who don’t take swift and meaningful action to make the workplace safe for nurses,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “Together, nurses, employers and the public must take steps to change our culture. Abuse is not part of anyone’s job and has no place in healthcare settings.”

The ANA’s Health Risk Appraisal found that 1 in four nurses have been assaulted at work by a patient or patient’s family member, and anecdotal reports from nurses indicate that sexual harassment is a major challenge as well. The ANA plans to convene a panel of experts to learn more about this issue and address barriers to reporting abuse against nurses.