SILVER SPRING, MD - Today, the representatives of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Membership Assembly recommended actions to address the significant and egregious gun violence that is gripping the country as an urgent public health issue. ANA will work to prepare nurses to engage in critical conversations with health care professionals, patients, community leaders and policymakers on the issue of gun violence and its social and health impacts to effectively advocate for upstream policies promoting gun safety and preventing violence.
Over the past 5 years, acts of gun violence have continued to increase in both the community and health care settings. As frontline providers, nurses are directly and indirectly impacted by gun violence, whether it occurs in their own workplace or community or anywhere in the nation, as it results in the loss of life and the everlasting effects of trauma. Nurses witness first-hand the devastation and traumatic aftermath of gun violence for patients, families, and communities.
The ANA Membership Assembly has made the following recommendations:
- Advocacy and Legislation: Advocate for meaningful legislation to address gun safety and firearm access, and increase funding allocated towards mental health services, gun violence and prevention research, including research on gun violence against health care workers and in health care settings.
- Policies and Positions: Endorse the American Academy of Nursing’s Statement on Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention and update ANA’s position statement, Incivility, Bullying, and Workplace Violence, to include gun violence and prevention in health care settings.
- Education and Engagement: Promote nursing knowledge on the relationship between gun violence and public health, the risk factors of and protective factors against violence, evidence-based strategies to prevent violence, and the role of nurses in promoting gun safety and preventing violence, especially among children, adolescents, and young adults.
ANA stands on a decades-long position and call-to-action to address gun safety, prevent violence, and study the impacts of gun violence on that of nurses, health care professionals and the public. ANA has also made urgent calls to limit the availability of handguns, ban assault weapons, and require waiting periods and background checks for gun purchasers. ANA, as the leading nursing organizations representing the nation’s more than 4 million registered nurses, is once again ready to take a strong leadership position in addressing gun violence.
About the American Nurses Association
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's more than 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.