Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Mary Collins

Second Supervisor

Cynthia McCloskey


The aim of this study was to examine the lived experience of pediatric nurses who work on inpatient hospital units that are exposed to workplace violence from patients and visitors. Workplace violence directed at nurses is an alarming phenomenon and has been understudied in regard to pediatric nurses who work on inpatient hospital units. Qualitative research was used to describe nurses’ experience with workplace violence by directly examining their perceptions of the problem. An interpretive phenomenological approach of inquiry was used as a strategy for this qualitative study. Twenty-four nurses who work at a Magnet teaching hospital in Upstate New York were the participants. The participants volunteered for the study and semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted and audio-taped. The participants’ narratives were transcribed and analyzed. An inductive inquiry process was used to interpret and structure meanings from the interview data. The narratives were coded for general themes. Validity and trustworthiness was demonstrated through use of triangulation, bracketing, and participant review of the transcripts to ensure truthfulness. Eight themes were identified and are as follows: # 1 Its part of the job, # 2 They were there for me, # 3 Conflicted about pressing charges, # 4 Learn to prevent and deal with it, # 5 Workplace violence negatively impacts our job, # 6 Fear for our safety, # 7 Nurses go it alone and # 8 Feeling badly for others. The results of this study may have implications for future nursing research, nursing practice, nursing education, organizational policies and procedures, and healthcare policies. Recommendations were made for all of these areas in order to provide: Workplace Violence Prevention Programs; reporting mechanisms for workplace violence; empowerment for nurses; system changes to help extinguish oppression and patriarchal approaches to management and decision making; the establishment of a law similar to New York State’s Violence Against Nurses law to help prevent and prosecute perpetrators of workplace violence; interdisciplinary responsibility for preventing and dealing with workplace violence; and patient and family education regarding their responsibility of safe behavior while in the hospital; and education of the public about the role of the nurse. The results of this study indicate that workplace violence exists and there is much to be done to prevent and manage workplace violence against nurses who work on inpatient pediatric hospital units.

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