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Tennessee Governor Signs Law Protecting Nurses

Publish Date: June 11, 2013

A bill criminalizing the assault of health care providers has been signed into law by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

The new law expands the punishment for assault and aggravated assault that currently applies to Tennessee law enforcement officers to also apply to health care providers acting in the discharge of their duties. Starting on July 1, 2013 a person who commits assault against a health care provider will be subject to a maximum $5,000 fine and a person who commits aggravated assault will be subject to a maximum fine of $15,000.

AORN believes all health care providers deserve to work in a safe environment. Criminalization of this type of violence is a key step toward ensuring the safety of health care providers and their patients. With this law, Tennessee joins 18 other states that have passed laws increasing penalties for workplace violence that affects nurses.

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