Governor Beshear signs bill to keep nurses safer

Governor Andy Beshear (D)
Governor Andy Beshear (D)(WAVE)
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 3:34 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Governor Beshear was at Galen College of Nursing in Louisville Friday morning for the ceremonial signing of a bill designed to keep nurses safer.

House Bill 176 deals with workplace violence. It puts Kentucky on par with 10 other states by implementing violence prevention measures that include collecting information and reporting cases of violence against healthcare workers.

Officials have said the issue has only gotten worse since COVID hit.

One nurse told WAVE News that more than half of nurses have reported some type of workplace violence. Of those reported incidents, two-thirds involved some type of injury. She said the largest threat were patients and their family members.

The fear of violence isn’t helping the nationwide nursing shortage either.

“I think we are moving in the right direction to address the nursing shortage,” Beshear said. “I think we are moving in the right direction on nursing pay and I think we are moving in the right direction on workplace safety for our healthcare heroes. But that doesn’t mean we ever stop. We keep pushing forward. They deserve the very best.”

Beshear said there are hundreds, if not thousands of nursing jobs available across Kentucky right now.