How to Address Nurse Bullying

How to Address Nurse Bullying


Although most people view the nursing profession as characterized by caring and compassion, sadly bullying is sometimes observed. It comes in the form of sabotage, excuses, withholding of valuable information, and revelation of confidential information among others. How can this bullying culture in nursing be stopped? Eliminating this practice may involve;

Accepting the Existence of the Problem

Admitting the presence of a given challenge is critical in finding a remedy. The authorities should investigate and identify why bullying is taking place. They should determine how it is practiced. The main perpetrators of this practice should be identified and be discouraged to continue victimizing fellow nurses. In extreme cases, punitive actions should be taken on the main culprits.  Nurse leaders can be in a good position to curb the practice when armed with relevant information.

Teaching Nurses on Bullying and It’s Effects

Nurses should be taught about bullying and how it is practiced in their profession. It is unfortunate that some nurses don’t know that some behaviors amount to bullying. Some may be committing the offense unknowingly yet the victims may believe that such behaviors are meant to demean them. Besides, information on the effect of such actions on the other nurses should be provided. Bullying may make a nurse lose morale and develop negative attitude towards her job which may the affect the patients. By knowing about the effects of their practices, some bullies may change their behavior for the good of other nurses and everyone at large.  This may go a long in ensuring improvement in the working environment.

Encouraging the Victims to Report on Time

In a workplace where bullying is common, the bullies may sometimes be not aware of their conduct. This is mostly seen in places where the victims don’t report or address the issue immediately it happens. Therefore, bullying victims have the responsibility of taking the necessary actions on time. They should be encouraged to face the issue instantly it is observed. By so doing, the bullies may be deterred from engaging in those behaviors as they are notified immediately after committing the offence.

Supporting the Bullied Nurses

Although different measures may be put in place to address bullying, it is quite difficult to eliminate it completely in the nursing profession. To address how bullying impacts other nurses and patients, counseling should be provided to previous victims of bullying. In addition, prior training should be provided for those planning to join the profession to be ready to face it. The main target here should be those nurses that are about to graduate.

Be a Role Model

If you are a nurse, try to be a role model to others in the workplace. Encourage everyone to treat each other as brothers and sisters. Be an example of how to provide help to each other without making them feel inferior or unimportant. Let everyone in the workplace to be looking up to you when they are faced with this problem. Learn to assist bullying victims. Face the bullies boldly but in a manner that is not going to deteriorate the condition. Do not humiliate anyone in any of the actions that you may take.


I am Dr. Marion Johnson, a Nurse Supervisor, Educator, and A clinician with a Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree (DNP) and a Master of Science in Nursing Degree (MSN) both from Walden University. I have worked as a nurse in the healthcare industry for over 15 years. Presently, I am doing something I love most, which is being an online instructor. In this position, I believe I can learn, educate, create and implement positive input into the nursing field. Besides work, I am also an avid reader of nursing journals and articles that is why I have a passion for reading, learning and sharing on the trending topics in the nursing arena.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.