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Nursing Science Could Help Reduce Firearm Violence and Its Impact

Firearm violence is a significant public health problem worldwide. In the United States, firearms are used to kill almost 100 people daily. Yet despite the staggering impact of firearm violence, there is limited research directed at preventing or addressing its impact on individuals, families and communities. 

An article from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) and the Penn Injury Science Center frames firearm violence as a health and public policy problem and shows how nurses are in a prime position to understand the complex factors leading to firearm violence and investigate how to reduce its frequency and impact. The article has been published in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship.

“Understanding the factors that come together to injure people with a firearm positions nurses to both extend the dialogue beyond pro-gun versus anti-gun and to design and carry put rigorous studies to reduce firearm violence,” said lead-author Therese S. Richmond, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, the Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing and Associate Dean for Research & Innovation.

In the article, Richmond and co-author Matthew Foman, a research assistant at Penn Nursing, illustrate the magnitude of the problem, examine factors that increase the risk to be injured by a firearm or how firearms confer protection, and identify relevant priority areas for nursing science.

Richmond recently participated in two-day conference at the National Academy of Medicine on firearm injury and death. Click here to see a webcast of her presentation from October 17, 2018.