For Immediate Release:
June 25, 2016
Veronica Byrd, 301.628.5057
Jemarion Jones, 301.628.5198
American Nurses Association Urges Nurses to Help Stop Gun Violence
WASHINGTON, DC – In the wake of the Orlando, FL, massacre, the American Nurses Association (ANA) issued a declaration today calling for sensible gun control measures, including one that lifts a ban on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from studying gun violence. ANA held its annual Membership Assembly this week in Washington, DC. ANA is the premiere professional association representing the interests of the nation's 3.6 million registered nurses (RNs).
"Now is the time to enact meaningful gun control legislation at the state and federal level to protect society," said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. "We all must join with other members of our community and at every level of civil society in dialogue and action to address the underlying issues that result in hate and motivate unspeakable acts of violence."
The declaration follows ANA's Lobby Day on June 23, when almost 300 nurses from across the country went to Capitol Hill to share their perspectives and concerns about key nursing and health care issues, including safe nurse staffing, access to home health care, and gun violence.
The declaration reads (in part):
- WHEREAS, in recent years, our country has endured unspeakable acts of violence with the common thread in each of these mass-casualty tragedies being easy access to guns.
- WHEREAS, the easy access to guns and inadequate access to mental health services contributes to an unsafe environment.
- WHEREAS, at an alarming rate, registered nurses and other health professionals, in emergency departments, hospitals and clinics across the country, are called upon to care for victims of mass shootings, homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings.
- WHEREAS, ANA commends the nurses and entire health care team at Orlando Regional Medical Center and the other receiving facilities for their dedication and professionalism during this tragic event.
- WHEREAS, of grave concern to ANA are all human rights violations, including hate crimes. The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements calls on nurses to respect all cultures, value systems, sexual orientation or gender expression and act to change those aspects of social structures that detract from health and well-being.
- WHEREAS, since 1994, ANA has considered gun violence to be a public health issue with subsequent policy action calling on the need for limits on the availability of handguns, a ban on assault weapons, and a waiting period and background check of purchasers.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.6 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing 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.