Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Workplace violence has been a trending topic of discussion across the country and is a concern for employees nationwide. The Emergency Department has been consistently documented as one area where workplace violence is most prevalent and presents a greater risk for occupational hazard. The escalating acts of violence toward emergency department nurses across the country have drastically increased and nurses have become targets of verbal and emotional abuse, subjected to threatening behavior, and have become victims of physical assaults. The purpose of this project was to identify the effects of workplace violence on nurses working in the Emergency Department. A quantitative descriptive study using modified Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) Workplace Violence staff assessment survey was used to identify emergency department nurses’ experiences with workplace violence. The mixed method design included a descriptive survey as well as series of open-ended questions to elicit personal accounts of violence in the workplace. A total of 36 nurses in the Emergency Department at Newport Hospital, a 129 bed community hospital in Newport, RI were surveyed. The results of the survey identified 95.45% (n=21) of nurses have experience some form of workplace violence. Physical violence such as being hit, punched, slapped, kicked, pinched, pushed, shoved, and scratched was experienced by at least half of nurses. Additionally, documented effects of workplace violence on staff members included burnout, low department morale, physical and emotional distress, and contributed to overall job dissatisfaction. The study identified workplace violence as an issue and recognizes the effects of violence on staff members is of significant concern that should be addressed with leadership support to recognize and decrease workplace violence in the ED.

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