Workplace Bullying: Concerns for Nurse Leaders

Susan L. Johnson, Univeristy of Washington - Tacoma Campus
Ruth E. Rhea, University of Washington - Tacoma Campus


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe nurses' experiences with and characteristics related to workplace bullying. BACKGROUND: Although the concept of workplace bullying is gaining attention, few studies have examined workplace bullying among nurses. METHODS: This was a descriptive study using a convenience sample of 249 members of the Washington State Emergency Nurses Association. The Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised was used to measure workplace bullying. RESULTS: Of the sample, 27.3% had experienced workplace bullying in the last 6 months. Most respondents who had been bullied stated that they were bullied by their managers/directors or charge nurses. Workplace bullying was significantly associated with intent to leave one's current job and nursing. CONCLUSION: In seeking remedies to the problem of workplace bullying, nurse leaders need to focus on why this bullying occurs and on ways to reduce its occurrence. This is a critical issue, since it is linked with nurse attrition.