Most people do not go to work and fear being assaulted or harassed daily. However, for emergency nurses in this county that is exactly what it has come to. Up to 96% of emergency department nurses state they have been verbally abused. This entails name calling, verbal threats, being shouted at and being sworn at. Anywhere from 25% to 60% of these nurses have had to face physical assaults while on the job. (Al-Aadi, 2020; Copeland & Henry, 2017; Grinberg, 2022; Li et al., 2019; McDermid et al., 2019). Physical assaults can include being spit on, slapped, punched, kicked, choked, objects thrown at them and even knives pulled on them (Grinberg, 2022 & Copeland & Henry, 2017). Per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2020), healthcare workers make up 73% of non-fatal workplace injuries due to violence. “Data shows American health care workers now suffer more nonfatal injuries from workplace violence than workers in any other profession, including law enforcement” (Boone, 2023). Al-Qadi (2020) stated, “This behavior has become so commonplace that it has become accepted as a standard occupational hazard of working in the ED”.

This country is facing a nursing shortage and emergency nurses are leaving the specialty or nursing all together because of the extreme amount of violence they face daily. Emergency nurses are highly skilled and trained and are an integral part of emergency services to a community. With a high rate of turnover in emergency nurses, we are facing a significant issue with the ability to safely care for emergency patients. Unless interventions are put into place to protect our nurses, things will only worsen and more nurses will be injury either emotionally, mentally, or physically.

Date of publication

Winter 11-28-2023

Document Type

MSN Capstone Project



Persistent identifier



MSN Admin