Online Course Trains Nurses on Preventing Workplace Violence


August 12, 2013
NIOSH Update:

Contact: Christina Spring (202) 245-0633

A new free online course aims to train nurses on recognizing and preventing workplace violence. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) worked with healthcare stakeholders, including nursing and labor organizations, academic groups, other government agencies, and Vida Health Communications, Inc. to develop the course. The multi-media training incorporates lesson text, videos depicting workplace violence incidents, testimonials from real nurses, and lesson quizzes. Nurses can also receive continuing education credits for completing the online course.

On average, over the last decade, U.S. healthcare workers have accounted for two-thirds of the nonfatal workplace violence injuries involving days away from work across all industries. These workers face the risk of both physical violence and non-physical violence, such as verbal abuse, on the job. NIOSH and partners found through their work that there is a lack of workplace violence prevention training being offered to nurses and other healthcare workers. This new on-line course helps to fill this gap by providing a convenient, free way for nurses, as well as other healthcare workers, to gain this training and earn continuing education units.

“No worker should be afraid of violence in their workplace, especially those who commit their lives to the care and treatment of patients,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “This course shows how innovative ideas for developing trainings and strong partnerships can help to address this preventable workplace hazard.”

Focus groups and stakeholder meetings were used to develop and test the course content and design. The course is separated in to 13 units, each expected to take approximately 15 minutes to complete. It is also designed so that participants can restart the course where they last left it, allowing them the ability to manage their time when taking the course.

The course is available on the NIOSH website at For more information about NIOSH’s research and recommendations on workplace violence, visit

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about our work visit

Page last reviewed: August 12, 2013