Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Barbara A. Niedz
Aggression and violence in healthcare settings can lead to severe psychological, physical, and economic consequences for the victims, institutions, and society in general. Empirical evidence indicated that patient-initiated physical and verbal aggression is a longstanding problem affecting nurses working in psychiatric hospital settings. At the project site, approximately 88% of the staff members reported having been assaulted by mental health patients in the admission units at some point in the provision of care between 2015 and 2017. The purpose of this project was to develop an educational program for nurses at the site to use as preventive strategies in managing aggression rather than relying solely on seclusion, medication, and restraints. The theoretical framework that guided the development of evidence-based practice was program theory and theory of change analysis. The practice-focused question examined the extent to which a revamped educational program would improve the knowledge of the nursing staff at the project site. The education was presented using an electronic format and completed by 91 staff members. The paired t test showed a difference of 102.34 points from pretest to posttest with a p value of .000. Results of the Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test (z=-8.288, p=.000) were also significant. Positive social change might occur in psychiatric hospital settings by empowering and increasing the knowledge of the nursing staff to create a safe working environment and improve the care provided to the patients.