Is Nurse Bullying A Problem?

 In Blogs

Nurse-on-nurse bullying may be more prevalent than people think and could have major consequences. Workplace bullying for nurses may be a bigger problem than most people think and in some cases could jeopardize patient safety.

An article on, “Mean Girls of the ER: The Alarming Nurse Culture of Bullying and Hazing” references multiple studies and statistics that show nurses bully their peers more than workers in other professions. Particularly concerning is some examples of nurses not doing their jobs to the best of their ability because of the effects of bullying. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be a shortfall of 1.05 million nurses by 2022.

The Workplace Bullying Institute in Bellingham, Wash., says 36% of their complaint calls are from nurses, making them by far the most frequent callers. The article also explains that victims of nurse bullying find legal recourse difficult because woman on woman aggression isn’t discriminatory.

A 2011 Research in Nursing and Health survey found that the most prevalent bullying comes in the form of nurses being given an unmanageable workload and being ignored or excluded.

These kinds of behaviors can have a negative impact on patient health and overall hospital productivity. The Joint Commission found in 2014 that 63% of cases resulting in the unanticipated death or permanent disability of a patient could be traced back to a communication failure by hospital staff.

Read the original article in Campus Safety Magazine

Is nursing incivility or nurse bullying a problem in your workplace?

Take our Workplace Bullying Quiz or distribute the quiz to your employees to find out.

You have the right to be treated with respect and dignity in the workplace. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if you are being bullied at work. This short quiz includes a sample of issues you may be experiencing. If you answered ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’ to some of the items on the quiz, you are probably the target of a workplace bully. Bullying can affect all aspects of your life as well as the safety of your clients.  With education and practice, you can to learn how to successfully deal with bullying.

Our online education course is a solution for facilities facing this prevalent issue, provide your entire facility staff this education for a one-time fee of $300*, and show your commitment zero tolerance of workplace incivility.

Healthcare Bullying Solutions

Many healthcare workers are subjected to bullying from co-workers, managers, physicians and/or clients. Bullying occurs in all sectors of health care and is a significant, under-reported occupational health and safety issue. Bullying has a profound effect on targets, witnesses, clients, health-care organizations and bullies themselves. Zero-tolerance for workplace violence policies exist, however, these policies are often not enforced.

Healthcare workers have a responsibility to learn to successfully deal with bullying on a personal level and to help transform the healthcare environment into a safe place to work and receive care. Bully-free organizations will see a reduction in costs and an improvement in patient safety.  This course is designed to assist staff recognize and successfully deal with healthcare workplace bullying.

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

1. Differentiate bullying from other forms of negative workplace behavior
2. Discuss why bullying is so prevalent in the healthcare environment
3. List characteristics that are common to targets and bullies
4. Recognize bullying behaviors
5. Identify the consequences of bullying
6. Practice strategies for successfully dealing with bullying


Chapter 1 Workplace Bullying
Definition of Terms
Workplace incivility
Workplace violence
Horizontal violence
Rights and Responsibilities
The Joint Commission’s Anti-bullying Regulations

Chapter 2 Bullying in Healthcare
Factors that contribute to the prevalence of Healthcare Bullying
Oppressed group theory
Workplace demographics
Lack of knowledge
Professional cannibalism
Scope of practice
Workplace issues
Client and family responses to illness
Administrative issues
Organizational issues
Who are the Bullies in the Healthcare Setting?

Chapter 3 Characteristics of Bullies
Theories about Bullying
Characteristics of Bullies

Chapter 4 Characteristics of Targets
Characteristics of Targets
Changes Resulting from Bullying

Chapter 5 Bullying Behaviors
Non-bullying Negative Workplace Behaviors
Constructive criticism of work performance
Workplace tension
Workplace incivility
Isolated incidents
Bullying Behaviors
Common Bullying Behaviors in the Healthcare Workplace
Behaviors directed toward the target personally
Work related behaviors

Chapter 6 Consequences of Bullying
The Target
Physical effects
Psychological effects
Financial effects
Relationship effects
Career effects
Workplace Environment
Patient Safety
Healthcare Organizations
Healthcare Professions
The Bully

Chapter 7 What to do if you are Being Bullied
Ineffective Strategies
Strategies to Successful Deal with Bullying
Determine if you are being bullied
Be prepared
Bully journal
Assertive body language
Assertive behaviors
Assertive responses
Reporting Bullying

Chapter 8 Resources

Chapter 9 What to do if you Witness Bullying
What you can do

Chapter 10 What if you are a Workplace Bully
Are you a Workplace Bully?
What to do if you are Accused of Bullying
If the complaint is legitimate
If the complaint is unfounded

Chapter 11 Stakeholder Responsibilities
Senior Management
Front-line Managers
Clients and Families
Government Agencies
Regulatory Bodies
Healthcare Educators
How can you Help Prevent Workplace Bullying?

Give us a call or email, provide your facility name, address, telephone number, how many employees require education.

*A seating limit of 100 will be applied to this offer, if you have additional staff we are happy to arrange special volume pricing for you as well.

AlixaRx guest blog written by Capra Dalton, RN. Capra Dalton is the CEO and author of Pedagogy Education infusion continuing education courses. 

Capra Dalton, Registered Nurse, has more than 28 years of experience in infusion therapy and the instruction of licensed nurses in infusion therapy continuing education. Her experience comes from multiple infusion settings: acute care, ambulatory infusion centers, home infusion, long term care continuing education provider, and long term care pharmacy quality assurance consultant. As the CEO, Capra is responsible for all operational aspects of Pedagogy, including education course content, author recruitment, and management. She is a member of the National Nurses in Business Association and received her nursing education from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Capra has an avid interest in holistic healing, nutrition, herbs, and alternative therapies for the treatment of disease in humans as well as animals. She and her husband, Patrick, live on a ranch near Tyler, Texas.