Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing



Date of Original Version



Violence in healthcare is a global problem and nurses are subjected to workplace violence (WPV) more than any healthcare professional. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) reports that nurses are three more likely to experience workplace violence than any other group. The Emergency department (ED) is one of the most frequent locations where this occurs. There is evidence that this problem is severely underestimated due to the under-reporting of WPV events and as such negative consequences ofWPV impact patient outcomes. Additional evidence suggests that the percentage of individuals reporting such events is low. The purpose of this study was to explore nurses' experiences ofWPV, whether events ofWPV were being reported and if not what were the barriers that contributed to the events not being reported. This mixed method study utilized a 19 item checklist ofWPV behaviors which was adapted from a 2007 Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) study (ENA Workplace Violence Toolkit, 201 0). A total of 54 nurses from a local ED were surveyed. The Theory of Planned Behavior was used to guide this project. Results of the study suggested that while a majority of nurses experienced WPV, there was a dramatic culture of under-reporting. A majority of participants indicated reporting would not result in changes and therefore not worth reporting. This study suggests evidence ofWPV as a flourishing problem and that documenting the extent ofWPV events continues to be problematic due to underreporting. Future research needs to further explore barriers to reporting WPV and develop policies and protocols to increase reporting of WPV and ultimately mitigate WPV.

Included in

Nursing Commons