Date of Graduation

Fall 12-18-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions



First Advisor

Amy Nichols

Second Advisor

Juli Maxworthy

Third Advisor

Sandra Schank


The purpose of this quality improvement project was to provide a means to effectively assess patients as they are admitted to the hospitals and to effectively communicate a patient’s violent tendencies within the healthcare setting. Workplace violence is a serious problem that affects all healthcare professionals. Although serious assaults and homicides attract more media attention, the majority of workplace violence consists of non-fatal assaults. Nurses, aides, and patient care technicians suffer the most non-fatal assaults resulting in injury. Due to the growing incidence of assault and injury among healthcare workers, some states are calling for additional study on workplace violence. Healthcare organizations are mandated to develop violence prevention programs and greater reporting of incidents. Healthcare organizations have workplace prevention programs in place but still fail to protect healthcare workers from injury. Additional measures are needed to cope up with the increasing incidence of workplace violence specifically related to assaults and injuries caused by patients in healthcare settings. Research shows that the use of a violence risk assessment tool has been proven effective in attempts to prevent workplace violence. This paper will examine patient initiated violence in the workplace, explore the use of a workplace violence risk assessment tool to identify patients with propensity for violence in hospitals, and analyze the implication of the use of a violence risk assessment tool to the nursing practice.