DECATUR-Nurses give a helping hand to complete strangers, but sometimes those people turn on them.
A new law will mean stricter penalties for the patients who harm nurses.
State representative Sue Scherer introduced the bill.
"We've already got firemen protected, policemen, teachers, even cab drivers are protected this way, but nurses weren't included in the lot," Scherer says.
Under the law, an intentional attack on an on-duty nurse would classify as aggravated battery, a class 3 felony, carrying 2 to 5 years in prison.
It was signed by Governor Quinn Friday and goes into effect January 2014.