• International literature supports nurse protections against workplace violence.
• This study explains the factors that influence violence in emergency settings.
• Findings provide evidence to implement strategies to prevent violence.
Workplace violence against nurses in the Emergency Department (ED) is a significant issue worldwide and has received increased attention. Workplace violence against nurses in the ED has increased in recent years. With such a large number of nurses having experienced violence, it is important to understand and elucidate the nurses’ perspective of violence in the ED.
Qualitative studies that were published between 2010 and 2019. A metasynthesis of 6 qualitative studies was conducted using Noblit and Hare’s metaethnographic methodology. The Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) was used to evaluate the quality of the studies.
Four overarching themes emerged from the data: the inevitability of violence, invisible wounds and painful memories, post-violence repercussions, and double-sided: physical and verbal abuse.
Findings provide insight into policies actions related to perpetrators and developing violence protections guidelines to support ED nurses in managing workplace violence.
Violence in the ED is an inevitable experience for nurses. Organizations must take a realistic approach to implement violence reduction measures and training programs in the ED.