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Workplace violence is an ongoing concern for nurses in healthcare settings and it is imperative nurses are equipped with the knowledge and skills to de-escalate a potentially violent situation. Verbal de-escalation should be the first intervention nurses use to curtail patient aggression, and training in effective de-escalation techniques is essential to increase nurses’ confidence and decrease the use of restraints. As an undergraduate student at Rhode Island College (RIC), this writer identified the need for this training and developed a simulation where nursing students could practice verbal de-escalation skills with a live-actor in the controlled, safe environment of the RIC School of Nursing Simulation Center. The students’ confidence was measured using a pre- and post-simulation survey and improved in nearly all categories after participating in the trial run of this Emergency Department-based simulation. Additionally, the feedback and results from this project indicate a simulation developed by a student, for peers, was effective in addressing an identified educational need. Generous financial support from the Anne and Bob De Stefano Fund for Undergraduate Research made it possible to hire professional improvisational actors and design and implement a simulation that mirrors actual practice.

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