Nurses should not have to risk their personal safety just to do their jobs of giving patients the very best care.

Nurse abuse and violence against nurses is a problem across the state and nation. According to the American Nurses Association, 1 in 4 nurses has been assaulted at work. The likelihood of health care workers being exposed to violence is higher than prison guards or police officers.

In a WSNA survey of our members last year, nurses in Washington state reported being choked, kicked, shoved and punched. They have had chairs thrown at them and have been attacked with weapons.

This is a statewide and nationwide issue. Nurse abuse happens in all care settings. A recent wave of workplace violence against nurses has heightened public and media awareness of this crisis:

Washington state law compels employers to “[d]o everything reasonably necessary to protect the life and safety of your employees.” WSNA is committed to holding all health care institutions accountable for following the law and protecting nurses, and all other hospital employees, from violence and abuse.

Join the national campaign on workplace violence

To address the high level of violence against nurses, the American Nurses Association in 2017 launched the #EndNurseAbuse Initiative, which asks health care professionals to sign a pledge supporting zero tolerance for violence against nurses and encourages nurses to speak up.


Occupational & Environmental Health and Safety Committee

Members of the Health & Safety Committee have a strong interest in issues such as environmental health and safety, ergonomic, latex allergy, workplace violence, needlestick injuries, occupational asthma, hazardous drugs and chemicals, health and safety policy, including contract language, and other related issues.