How to better protect nurses: ANA pushes for ratios, violence prevention

ANA also seeks improved environmental education

American Nurses Association (ANA) will advocate for better nurse-to-patient ratios, workplace violence prevention programs, and initiatives to reduce environmental health risks in the workplace, according to a statement from its House of Delegates meeting.

Improve nurse staffing processes
As part of its upcoming priorities, ANA will advocate that health care facilities use nurse-directed staffing processes that focus on minimum nurse-to-patient ratios, data collection and dole out penalties for noncompliance in all health care settings where "staffing is a challenge."

"Research shows that higher levels of nurse staffing result in better patient outcomes, so our job is to make sufficient staffing a reality nationwide," according to ANA President Karen Daley.

Reduce workplace violence

ANA also asks that the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration require employers to develop violence prevention programs that all employees would be required to complete.

Related: Most ED nurses who are assaulted don't file formal reports

One in 10 nurses reported having been physically assaulted in the workplace in the past year, and half had been threatened or verbally abused, according to ANA’s 2011 Health & Safety Survey.

Address environmental issues
Meanwhile, the ANA will advocate that nurses be educated about health risks associated with coal-fired power plants, oil drilling, and natural gas drilling—to give nurses the tools to promote healthy and renewable energy choices in the workplace.

According to the statement, ANA has been pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to legally enforce more effective pollution control standards for coal-fired power plants that emit pollutants such as mercury (, 6/25).



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