Management of Aggressive Patient Situations

Sara W. Day, PhD, RN, FAAN; Jacqueline Sharp, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC; Gabrielle L. Jackson, DNP, PMHNP-BC; Randall L. Johnson, PhD, RN; Kimberly A. Smith, MSN, RN; Xueyuan Cao, PhD; Wendy Likes, PhD, DNSc, APRN-Bc, FAANP


Am Nurs Journal. 2022;17(4) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Workplace violence is a serious and growing global threat in healthcare. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report that hospitals rank among the most hazardous places to work due to various factors. The BLS notes that workplace violence events, defined as those requiring days off for the injured worker to recuperate, are five times more common in healthcare than in private industries. (To learn more about nurses' risk, visit

In response to this rise in violence in healthcare settings, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), OSHA, and The Joint Commission published reports and guidelines recognizing the importance of nurses' and other healthcare providers' abilities to prevent workplace violence, and the 117th Congress passed The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act (H.R. 1309). If passed by the Senate, this legislation will require employers to implement comprehensive plans to protect healthcare providers from violence and prohibit retaliation that discourages violent incident reporting.

To address this issue and answer the American Nurses Association (ANA) call to share interventions that help prevent workplace violence, the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Nursing (with approval from the institutional review board) partnered with Regional One Health to develop the Management of Aggressive Patient Situations (MAPS) program.