Verbal Abuse From Nurse Colleagues and Work Environment of Early Career Registered Nurses

Intimidating and disruptive aggressive behaviors in the nursing workplace such as bullying, harassment, and verbal abuse contribute to medical errors, poor patient outcomes, and nurse turnover.

In order to better understand who experiences verbal abuse, investigators analyzed national survey data from early career nurses. They used a shortened version of the Verbal Abuse Scale to determine the frequency that a nurse experienced verbal abuse in the last three months. Verbal abused included situations of yelling, swearing, insulting, obscene comments, speaking condescendingly, making humiliating comments disguised as a joke, and ignoring.

Nearly half the respondents experienced some verbal abuse from nurse colleagues at least once; 5 percent more than five times, over the previous three months, most frequently being spoken to in a condescending manner or ignored.

Nurses experiencing verbal abuse were most often White females, married, without children younger than 6 years old, worked in a hospital but not a magnet hospital, and provided direct care on 12-hour day shifts. Those with moderate to high verbal abuse were planning on leaving their current position in the next year but not the nursing profession. Verbal abuse was more frequent in unfavorable work environments and those with inadequate staffing levels, though the relationship was not necessarily causal.

The RN Work Project

  1. 1. Newly Licensed RNs' Characteristics, Work Attitudes, and Intentions to Work
  2. 2. Addressing the Complexities of Survey Research
  3. 3. A Comparison of Second-Degree Baccalaureate and Traditional-Baccalaureate New Graduate RNs
  4. 4. Understanding New Registered Nurses' Intent to Stay at Their Jobs
  5. 5. The Nursing Career Process from Application Through the First 2 Years of Employment
  6. 6. What Newly Licensed Registered Nurses Have to Say about Their First Experiences
  7. 7. Moving on, Up, or Out
  8. 8. Generational Differences Among Newly Licensed Registered Nurses
  9. 9. New Nurses Views of Quality Improvement Education
  10. 10. Newly Licensed RNs Describe What They Like Best about Being a Nurse
  11. 11. Early Career RNs' Perceptions of Quality Care in the Hospital Setting
  12. 12. Commuting to Work
  13. 13. State Mandatory Overtime Regulations and Newly Licensed Nurses' Mandatory and Voluntary Overtime and Total Work Hours
  14. 14. Work Environment Factors Other Than Staffing Associated with Nurses' Ratings of Patient Care Quality
  15. 15. The Relative Geographic Immobility of New Registered Nurses Calls for New Strategies to Augment that Workforce
  16. 16. Predictors of Actual Turnover in a National Sample of Newly Licensed Registered Nurses Employed in Hospitals
  17. 17. Charting the Course for Nurses' Achievement of Higher Education Levels
  18. 18. Verbal Abuse From Nurse Colleagues and Work Environment of Early Career Registered Nurses
  19. 19. Early-Career Registered Nurses' Participation in Hospital Quality Improvement Activities
  20. 20. Positive Work Environments of Early-Career Registered Nurses and the Correlation with Physician Verbal Abuse

Share this

Nearly half of early career #nurses have experienced verbal abuse from colleagues. Learn more: