In response to an uptick in both the frequency and severity of violent incidences against nurses and healthcare professionals, PASNAP held a conference in November 2010 (and two more in March 2011) to begin discussion of the matter. Representatives from the Massachusetts Nurses Association, which is at the forefront of combating workplace violence in their state, led the session.
The conferences addressed the range of violence, from physical assaults to verbal threats, compounded by inadequate response from management. The overarching theme was that no one should have to endure any violence and that hospitals must take steps to prevent it from happening.
From those enlightening conferences that exposed a frightening reality, PASNAP members along with HPAE members and the District Attorneys of Philadelphia and Delaware County formed the Staff Nurse Task Force on Workplace Violence – open to union and non-union nurses and allied professionals.
Shortly after, the task force drafted legislation which was introduced by State Representative Nicholas Micozzie (R-163) of Delaware County. The State House Health Committee held a legislative hearing on the bill on September 11, 2012, and the stakeholders, including PASNAP, the Department of Labor and Industry, and the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania are currently redrafting the bill to make it stronger and more likely to pass in Harrisburg.