NU 515 Assignment One: Identify a practice problem in your facility or practice.

NU 515 Assignment One: Identify a practice problem in your facility or practice.

Violence Against Nurses in the Workplace

Over two million American workers, including nurses, are victims of workplace violence each year. Workplace violence has negative effects on healthcare provision and there is need to have evidence-based practice interventions to reduce or eliminate it. The paper describes the issue of violence against nurses in the workplace, its effects and possible solutions

Workplace Violence Problem

Workplace violence against nurses and other healthcare providers and practitioners like physicians continues to be a concern and one that requires effective intervention. Healthcare environment accounts for a significant level of violent injuries than all other industries combined. Violence in the healthcare workplace assumes several forms, right from egregious acts to verbal transgressions. In many instances, workplace violence for nurses and physicians manifest through verbal abuse and threats that many do not report. Most incidents in

NU 515 Assignment One Identify a practice problem in your facility or practice.

NU 515 Assignment One Identify a practice problem in your facility or practice.

the healthcare environment comprise of hostile encounters with patients, lateral or horizontal violence or bullying, and domestic violence. Lateral violence is a prevalent form of violence as over 50% of nurses have experienced it in one way or another (Shafran-Tikva et al., 2017). Lateral violence creates a toxic environment that has negative impacts on a nurse’s productivity, performance, and motivation.

Hostile encounters with patients entail verbal threats and even physical altercations. These cases are not reported in

NU 515 Assignment One Identify a practice problem in your facility or practice.

NU 515 Assignment One Identify a practice problem in your facility or practice.

most cases yet impact the interaction between patients and nurse practitioners and the provision of quality care. While domestic violence does not occur in the workplace, its effects can creep into healthcare settings and impact nurse practitioners.  Threatening partners can follow their spouses at work and cause commotion which affects their emotional stability and effective performance.



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Effects of the Issue

In their study, Gacki-Smith et al. (2009) opine that violence against nurses in healthcare setting is prevalent and requires interventions because of its impacts. These include reduce productivity and performance. Further, in their quantitative research, Roche et al. (2009) observe that violence towards nurses creates a hostile work environment and has negative effects on patient outcomes. For instance, these studies observe that violence can lead to increased incidences of medical errors. Violence also causes intent to leave the profession which leads to increased turnover and exacerbates the current nursing shortage and inability for nurses to specialize. In his review, Phillips (2016) shows that healthcare workers face increased probability of experiencing assault, rape and even homicide. These incidences lead to emotional instability requiring interventions aimed at reducing or eliminating the problem.

Potential Solutions to the Issue

In their study, Gacki-Smith note that workplace violence is a threat to effective care delivery and impacts health practitioners and patient’s safety. Therefore, evidence-based practice interventions are necessary to mitigate the problem and guarantee nurse a better and positive workplace setting.  These interventions include a commitment from the management and administrators and hospital security to facilitate improvement and create a secure and safer workplace. Further, creating open lines of communication empowers employees to not only recognize but also report violent acts before escalation. Evidence-based practice interventions like raising awareness among employees and creating a positive organizational culture are essential in reducing and eliminating this vice in the workplace. Further, Somani et al. (2021) emphasizes the need for effective interventions to de-escalate violence against nurses through transformational leadership that encourages sharing of proven solutions to address the issue.


The need to reduce or eliminate violence against nurses in the workplace is essential in enhancing quality care outcomes. In this case, stakeholders must work collaboratively by implementing EBP interventions to address the problem. Nurses and their leaders and managers have a duty to nurture a positive workplace through modeling effective leadership.


Gacki-Smith, J., Juarez, A. M., Boyett, L., Homeyer, C., Robinson, L., & MacLean, S. L. (2010).

Violence against nurses working in US emergency departments. Journal of healthcare protection management, 26(1), 81-99. doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3181ae97db.

Phillips, J. P. (2016). Workplace Violence against Health Care Workers in the United States. The

            New England Journal of Medicine, 374: 166-169. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1501998

Speroni, K. G., Fitch, T., Dawson, E., Dugan, L., & Atherton, M. (2014). Incidence and cost of

nurse workplace violence perpetrated by hospital patients or patient visitors. Journal of emergency nursing, 40(3), 218-228. doi: 10.1016/j.jen.2013.05.014.

Roche, M., Diers, D., Duffield, C. & Catling-Paul, C. (2009). Violence Toward Nurses, the

Work Environment, and Patient Outcomes. Journal of Nursing Scholarship; First Quarter, 42(1), p. 13. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2009.01321.x.

Shafran-Tikva, S., Chinitz, D., Stern, Z., & Feder-Bubis, P. (2017). Violence against physicians

and nurses in a hospital: How does it happen? A mixed-methods study. Israel journal of health policy research, 6(1), 1-12.

Somani, R., Muntaner, C., Hillan, E., Velonis, A. J., & Smith, P. (2021). A Systematic Review:

Effectiveness of Interventions to De-escalate Workplace Violence against Nurses in Healthcare Settings. Safety and Health at Work.