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Which states have made hitting a nurse a felony?

Friday April 8, 2011
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Dear Nancy,

How many states have made it a felony to hit a nurse on duty?

Anna Marie

Nancy Brent replies:

Dear Anna Marie,

Violence in the workplace, including violence against nurses and other healthcare workers, is unacceptable. Yet, it continues far too often.

Many states have taken action to either strengthen or increase penalties for acts of workplace violence that affect nursing. Some of those states include Alabama, Arizona, Illinois, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia. In 2011, 22 states have introduced legislation to punish those who are violent against nurses. You can review this information on the American Nurses Association website at (www.nursingworld.org/workplaceviolence). The article is extremely informative and includes summaries of laws already "on the books" and bills proposed throughout the U.S.


Nancy J. Brent, RN, MS, JD, is an attorney in private practice in Wilmette, Ill. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal or any other advice. The reader is encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional when an opinion is needed.