The Violence Against Nurses Law became effective in Jan. 2010 when the New York Senate passed the legislation. A perpetrator who assaults a nurse could face felony charges for which the punishment upon conviction could be up to seven years behind bars. Sadly, such attacks remain prevalent, and concerned authorities say injured workers in hospitals should stop seeing it as part of the job.
As recently as March, a nurse in an emergency room in a Staten Island hospital was punched by a patient before he proceeded to use a plastic wire to choke her. Another patient whose blood pressure was being checked punched a nurse in 2016, and in 2015, a man allegedly choked a nurse who was treating him. Furthermore, the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) says many assaults go unreported, as nurses are under the misconception that being spit on, punched and choked are par for the course.