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Industrial & Organisational : Introduction : Personnel : Organizational psychology : Occupations: Work environment: Index : Outline

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Articles related to Abuse

Types of bullying

Forms of bullying


Related concepts

The nursing organisation workplace has been identified as one in which workplace bullying occurs quite frequently.[1][2] It is thought that relational aggression (psychological aspects of bullying such as gossipping and intimidation) are relevant. Relational aggression has been studied amongst girls but not so much amongst adult women.[3][4]

Various bullying permutations are possible, such as:

  • doctor or management bullying a nurse
  • nurse bullying another nurse
  • nurse bullying a patient
  • patient bullying a nurse.

Bullying acts

Lewis identifies the following bullying acts in UK nursing:[5]

Such acts are frequently insidious, continuing over periods of time that may be years. Bullies are often serial bullies. The bullies are invariably aware of the damage they are doing. They undertake such actions basically to gain control and power.


Laschinger, Leiter, Day, and Gilin found that among 612 staff nurses, 67.5% had experienced incivility from their supervisors and 77.6% had experienced incivility from their coworkers.[6]

Bullying of nurses by managers

In 2003 the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association in the UK carried out a survey showing that half of health visitors, school nurses and community nurses working in the National Health Service (NHS) have been bullied by their managers. One in three of the 563 people questioned said the bullying was so bad they had to take time off work. Constant criticism and humiliation were the most common complaints. Others said they were shouted at or marginalised.[7]

Nurse bullying inventory

In order to further investigate and understand the impact of workplace bullying on the nursing work environment, an inventory was developed to address specific workplace bullying constructs within the nursing context.[1]

Associated terms

Horizontal Violence [8] is often the same term used when referring to bullying in Nursing. This term describes the appalling behavior shown by colleagues in the nursing field. Such demeaning behavior makes the work place stressful and unpleasant. Another term associated with bullying in nursing is lateral violence. This term is used to describe the effect that bullying takes on someone lower down on the ladder of workforce, making it hard to climb that latter.

Remedial action

Some health organisations are seeking to educate staff and health care team members on how to improve social interactions, proper business etiquette, and foster positive people skills in the work environment. Nurses are entitled to monetary compensation for bullying.[9][10] [11][12]

See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 (2008). The development and validation of a bullying inventory for the nursing workplace. Nurse researcher 15 (2): 19–29.
  2. (2008). Transforming work environments. Interview by Diane E Scott and Amanda Rosenkranz. The American nurse 40 (2): 7.
  3. Richards A, Edwards SL A Nurse's Survival Guide to the Ward (2008)Template:Page needed
  4. (2009). Bullying among nurses. The American journal of nursing 109 (1): 52–8.
  5. (2006). Nurse bullying: Organizational considerations in the maintenance and perpetration of health care bullying cultures. Journal of Nursing Management 14 (1): 52–8.
  6. (2009). Workplace empowerment, incivility, and burnout: impact on staff nurse recruitment and retention outcomes. Journal of Nursing Management 17 (3): 302–11.
  7. NHS nurses 'bullied by managers' BBC News 11 October 2003
  8. Roy, Josie Horizontal Violence. ADVANCE for Nurses. URL accessed on 5 October 2011.
  9. (2008). Behaving badly? Joint Commission issues alert aimed at improving workplace culture, patient care. The American nurse 40 (5): 1, 6, 12.
  10. (2008). Is Your Hospital Safe? Disruptive Behavior and Workplace Bullying. Hospital Topics 86 (3): 21–8.
  11. Nurse Work Injury Compensation Eoin Campbell Injury Compensation Zone
  12. (2008). Leadership, civility, and the 'no jerks' rule. Medsurg nursing 17 (6): 441–2.

Further reading



  • Button SM Bullying of a nursing student: a mixed interpretive study (2007)
  • Dellasega C When Nurses Hurt Nurses: Recognizing and Overcoming The Cycles of Bullying (2011)
  • Nurses and the experience of bullying at work: a report for the Claire Thomson, Working Women's Centre (Adelaide, S. Aust.), Australian Nursing Federation. S.A. Branch - 1998
  • Webb C, Randle J Workplace Bullying in the NHS (2006)

Academic papers

  • (2010). Identifying and Addressing Bullying in Nursing. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 31 (5): 331–5.
  • (2009). Nursing students' perceptions of bullying behaviours by classmates. Issues in Educational Research 19 (3): 212–26.
  • (2004). Bullying in the Health Sector: A Study of Bullying of Nursing Students. New Zealand Journal of Employment Relations 29 (2): 67–83.
  • (2011). Are immigrants in the nursing industry at increased risk of bullying at work? A one-year follow-up study. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 52 (1): 49–56.
  • (2006). Workplace bullying in nursing: towards a more critical organisational perspective. Nursing Inquiry 13 (2): 118–26.
  • Hutchinson (2008). A new model of bullying in the nursing workplace: organizational characteristics as critical antecedents. Advances in Nursing Science 31 (2): E60–71.
  • (2010). Integrating individual, work group and organizational factors: testing a multidimensional model of bullying in the nursing workplace. Journal of Nursing Management 18 (2): 173–81.
  • (2009). 'The Worse You Behave, The More You Seem, to be Rewarded': Bullying in Nursing as Organizational Corruption. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal 21 (3): 213–29.
  • (2010). The Bullying Aspect of Workplace Violence in Nursing. JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation 12 (2): 36–42.
  • (2001). Bullying in nursing. Nursing standard 15 (45): 39–42.
  • (2009). Workplace bullying in nursing: a problem that can't be ignored. Medsurg nursing 18 (5): 273–6.
  • (2008). On Bullying in the Nursing Workplace. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing 37 (4): 393–393.
  • (2003). Bullying in the nursing profession. Journal of Advanced Nursing 43 (4): 395–401.
  • (2010). Perspectives on emotional labour and bullying: Reviewing the role of emotions in nursing and healthcare. International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion 3 (3): 227–36.
  • (2002). Nursing Workforce Retention: Challenging A Bullying Culture. Health Affairs 21 (5): 189–93.
  • (2010). Identifying and Addressing Bullying in Nursing. Issues in Mental Health Nursing 31 (5): 331–335.


  • (2004) "Bullying in nursing: introducing an Australian study" in Proceedings of Leadership in the 21st Century: Association on Employment Practices and Principles (AEPP), Twelfth Annual International Conference. {{{booktitle}}}, Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL., 7–9 August: Association on Employement Practices and Principles. 


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Articles related to Abuse

Types of bullying

Forms of bullying


Related concepts

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