Workplace Violence and Leadership Styles in Nursing


The current state of knowledge concerning the theory and practice of nursing never stands still. Focusing on different problems, modern researchers whose works are published in well-known peer-reviewed nursing journals find new knowledge gaps that are to be filled in order to reduce the impact of problems that affect all parties related to nursing practice. As for the current trends in nursing journals that relate to education, research, and management, they include workplace violence with regard to nursing practice and the impact of leadership styles on patient and employee outcomes.

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In terms of the first topic that attracts the attention of many researchers from the United States and other countries, workplace violence, it refers to any form of physical action or communication that can pose a threat to the safety of employees in healthcare institutions. Nowadays, researchers from different countries make attempts to design various courses for healthcare specialists that would allow making the work environment safer and teaching nursing specialists to recognize inappropriate acts and report them in a timely manner. Many researchers acknowledge that the cases of violence against healthcare specialists have become more common. For instance, Choi and Lee (2017) prove the urgency of the problem; according to their findings, more than ninety-five percent of nurses in South Korea experienced workplace violence. Modern researchers pay focused attention to the problem of violence because many nurses avoid reporting the cases of violence due to different reasons, and the situation can be improved only with the introduction of effective workplace violence education programs.

The discussed problem and its impact on nursing practice are also emphasized in professional journals with regard to the relationships between healthcare specialists at different levels of the organizational hierarchy. The so-called lateral violence poses a significant threat to the work performance of nursing specialists (it is especially detrimental to the success of recent graduates as many researchers believe). The problem of lateral violence is emphasized in articles that professional journals publish due to the fact that the problem causes increased employee turnover and strengthens mistrust between colleagues (Wahi & Iheduru-Anderson, 2017). In its turn, this mistrust has a bearing on patient outcomes. Nowadays, researchers in the field design and test educational programs to decrease the number of cases of lateral violence and teach employees how to retaliate against their offenders and find the right words to inform their immediate superiors about difficult situations and work-related conflicts.

Another topic that is emphasized in professional journals for nurses is the impact of transformational leadership on the nursing process, patient outcomes, and employee happiness. Understanding that the influence of a good leader often acts as the key to success, many researchers in the field apply the concepts of transformational leadership (the model in which a leader acts as an example for imitation) to nursing practice, trying to increase the effectiveness of the latter. Focusing on the differences between transformational and managerial leadership and the impact of these leadership styles on employee and patient well-being, modern researchers prove that transformational leadership decreases adverse treatment outcomes (Boamah, 2017). A large number of researchers interested in the topic aim to fill in research gaps, identifying the most effective ways to develop transformational leadership in the clinical setting.


In the end, popular professional journals for nurses emphasize numerous topics, and many of them are related to the psychological dimension of nursing practice. Focusing on everyday problems of nurses caused by the misbehavior of their leaders, patients, and managers, modern researchers achieve two goals in a single action. Filling research gaps related to both topics discussed in the paper helps to increase nurse job satisfaction rates and, therefore, improve patient outcomes.


Boamah, S. (2017). Linking nurses’ clinical leadership to patient care quality: The role of transformational leadership and workplace empowerment. Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 1-11.

Choi, S. H., & Lee, H. (2017). Workplace violence against nurses in Korea and its impact on professional quality of life and turnover intention. Journal of Nursing Management, 1-11.

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Wahi, M. M., & Iheduru-Anderson, K. C. (2017). Prevention of lateral violence in nursing through education: The bullying awareness seminar. Journal of Nursing Education, 56(12), 762-763.

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