Bully Nurses Are Harming the Profession . . . and Patients

May 6, 2015 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Citing examples in which "bully" nurses have subjected new nurses to extreme acts of unethical, inappropriate, and endangering behavior, author Alexandra Robbins aims to educate readers about the trend of "nurses eating their young." In a column from the May issue of Marie Claire, she focuses on this bullying behavior, in which veteran nurses, rather than working with new nurses, bully, ostracize, or otherwise disenfranchise them as members of the healthcare team. Cited examples include one nurse who had been frozen out by a clique of other nurses at the hospital; she called a code and no one came to help. "Patient care can also deteriorate when nurses intimidate one another," notes Robbins. She cites statistics reporting that the vast majority of nurses have experienced such abuse from fellow nurses and that bullying is a direct cause of the global nursing shortage.

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