Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Anna M. Valdez


Underreporting of workplace violence by emergency department (ED) nurses is a global practice concern. When workplace violence is not reported, the breadth of the issue is not reflected in the data, which is necessary to support legislative action, regulatory requirements, and organizational changes to prevent violence. The purpose of this systematic review of literature was to appraise and synthesize evidence regarding ED nurses’ barriers to reporting workplace violence. The practice-focused question addressed the barriers to reporting workplace violence according to emergency nurses. The theory of planned behavior was the theoretical framework for this project. Melnyk and Fineout-Overholt’s critical appraisal of evidence was used to evaluate the level of evidence of studies included in the systematic review. Quality of evidence was evaluated using the appropriate EQUATOR Network reporting tools. The search for evidence was conducted through scholarly databases and citation searches and yielded 189 articles for review, of which 7 articles met inclusion criteria and addressed the practice-focused question. The evidence revealed the barriers experienced by ED nurses include workplace violence comes with the job, lack of physical injury, reporting processes, lack of support, and emotional influences. Further research is needed to address the cultural acceptance of workplace violence experienced by ED nurses. The findings of this systematic review of literature can be used to improve training, processes, and perceptions regarding the reporting of workplace violence. This will result in positive change by improving reporting of violence, identify additional interventions to reduce acts of violence against emergency nurses.

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