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Workplace Violence


The CFNU is committed to working with political leaders to implement solutions to end workplace violence faced by nurses. All nurses have the right to work in a safe and respectful workplace free from violence. Unfortunately, physical and verbal abuse targeted at nurses are regular occurrences in health care settings.

Surveys of nurses show that:

  • About 1/3 to 1/2 of nurses have experienced physical abuse.
  • Approximately 3/4 report verbal abuse

Nurses are there when patients need them most. It’s time to make sure nurses are safe at work by:

  • Raising standards
  • Improving health and safety for nurses
  • Ending workplace violence
  • Developing a better plan to reduce overtime and absenteeism

Parliament moves to end violence in health care sector

On May 14, 2019, CFNU President Linda Silas testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health on the first day of hearings into violence in health care workplaces. The CFNU began calling for this federal study in January 2018. Read the CFNU’s submission to the committee.

The committee’s final report, released on June 19, 2019, makes a number of recommendations championed by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU). Read the CFNU’s media release welcoming the report.

The recommendations include:

  • Creating a pan-Canadian violence-prevention framework;
  • Holding perpetrators of assault accountable;
  • Targeted funding for violence-prevention infrastructure;
  • Updating Canada’s health human resources strategy to address major staffing shortages across the country.

The CFNU will continue to work with provincial and federal decision-makers to improve the safety of nurses in their workplaces. Because we do not accept that violence is ‘just part of the job.’

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