Workplace Bullying in the Nursing Areas

Workplace bullying is defined as either short- or long-term deviant behavior towards peers, superiors, or subordinates. In the nursing areas, the persistent and deliberate negative actions to colleagues cause a hostile and unstable environment. The hospitals with a high level of bullying are characterized by increased burnout, dismissals, and conflicts (Bambi, Guazzini, De Felippis, Lucchini, & Rasero, 2017).

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Incivility, a lower intensity deviant behavior, and bullying provoke misunderstanding, inappropriate power use, a lack of motivation to work better, and poor interpersonal relationships in the team. The victims of bullying may suffer from somatic, psychological, and behavioral effects, such as anxiety, pressure from others, loneliness, or low interest to their profession (Bambi et al., 2017). Accordingly, such an atmosphere leads to various conflicts, which are largely triggered by the mistreatment of colleagues, leading to the threat to patient safety and care quality.

The evidence shows that the topic of bullying in nursing is researched extensively, and some strategies to prevent it were formulated. Abdollahzadeh, Asghari, Ebrahimi, Rahmani, and Vahidi (2017) recommend considering a systematic approach to incivility and bullying elimination, which should begin with clarifying the actual position of nurses and increasing their awareness of these phenomena. The informative campaigns may be conducted to discuss the critical examples of deviant behavior and possible solutions. The management needs to train nurses on conflict management skills along with assertive communication.

The leadership should promote authentic relationships across the team and assign an abuse zero tolerance strategy a top priority (Bambi et al., 2017). Most importantly, disruptive and inappropriate behaviors should be clearly identified and explained to nurses, so that they can easily recognize them and try to resolve the conflicts.


Abdollahzadeh, F., Asghari, E., Ebrahimi, H., Rahmani, A., & Vahidi, M. (2017). How to prevent workplace incivility?: Nurses’ perspective. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research, 22(2), 157-163.

Bambi, S., Guazzini, A., De Felippis, C., Lucchini, A., & Rasero, L. (2017). Preventing workplace incivility, lateral violence and bullying between nurses. A narrative literature review. Acta Biomedica, 88(5), 39-47.

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