The Lived Experience of Workplace Violence Among Emergency Nurses

Published:December 12, 2022DOI:



      Workplace violence remains a significant threat to the United States health care workforce. With increasingly aggressive patients, emergency nurses reported that the increased prevalence of workplace violence impacted their professional and personal lives.


      This study employed a qualitative, descriptive phenomenological approach with purposive sampling. Participants were asked to describe their lived experience with workplace violence while working as emergency nurses and how this affected them personally and professionally.


      Eleven experienced emergency registered nurses from 3 mid-Atlantic hospitals participated in the study. After reviewing, clustering, and validating significant statements, 4 major themes were identified: walking wounded to wounded healer, unexpected shock, betrayal, and resilient but changed.


      Our findings were consistent with other studies exploring the effects of workplace violence in emergency departments. We validated that trauma has long-lasting effects. Organizations should ensure that programs and processes are in place to support the nurse or health care worker when workplace violence events occur.

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      NancyPowell is Director, Professional Development; and a Nurse Scientist, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Atlantic City, NJ. ORCID identifier:


      Lindsey Ford is Director, Nursing Education, Magnet and Quality, Geisinger Wyoming Valley, Geisinger Community Medical Center, Wilkes Barre, PA. ORCID identifier:


      Dana Rochinski is Nursing Professional Development Generalist, Emergency Department, Hospital Wide/Emergency Medicine, Geisinger Community Medical Center, Scranton, PA. ORCID identifier:


      Veronica McEvoy is Clinical Manager, Trauma, AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Atlantic City, NJ. ORCID identifier: