Bullying and Toxic Work Environments: Bringing Scholars Together to Consider Priorities and a Way Forward

Saturday, 28 October 2017: 3:15 PM

Laura C. Dzurec, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, ANEF, FAAN
School of Nursing, Widener University, Chester, PA, USA
Patricia Gillen, PhD, RN, RM
Nursing, Southern Health and Social Care Trust/Ulster University, Belfast, United Kingdom
Jennifer L. Embree, DNP, RN, NE-BC, CCNS
Department of Community and Health Systems, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis, IN, USA
Matthew S. Howard, MSN, RN, CEN, CPEN, CPN
Emergency Department, Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Incivility, interpersonal hostility, bullying, and toxic work environments have been widely reported and documented in nursing (Adriaenssens, De Gucht, & Maes, 2015; Christie & Jones, 2014; Dellasega, Volpe, Edmonson, & Hopkins, 2014; Elmblad, Kodjebacheva, & Lebeck, 2014; Flinkman & Salanterä, 2015; Park, Cho, & Hong, 2015). Serious, negative outcomes for nurses can occur up to and including an intent to leave the profession (Al-Hamdan, Manojlovich, & Tanima, 2017; Arnold & Walsh, 2015). It is estimated that nearly 20 percent of new nurses leave the profession within the first year of their career (Kovner, Brewer, Fatehi, & Jun, 2014). The causes of nursing turnover are multifaceted (Al-Hamdan, Manojlovich, & Tanima, 2017; Fitzpatrick, Campo, & Lavandero, 2011; Flinkman & Salanterä, 2015; Flinkman, Isopahkala-Bouret, & Salanterä, 2013; Kovner et al., 2014), however, issues surrounding incivility and bullying are becoming more prevalent (Bruyneel, Thoelen, Adriaenssens, & Sermeus, 2017; Blackstock, Harlos, Macleod, & Hardy, 2015; Oyeleye, Hanson, O'Connor, & Dunn, 2013; Tarcan, Hikmet, Schooley, Top, & Yorgancıoglu Tarcan, 2017). These issues have grave impact on nurses’ intent to leave the profession (Flinkman et al., 2013; Oyeleye et al., 2013).

When staff are unable or unprepared to tackle challenging interpersonal situations, many revert to silence or violence which continue to perpetuate the issue (Paterson, Grenny, McMillan, & Switzler, 2011; Thompson, 2013). Frustrations and tempers rise which is a leading cause of nurse burnout (Wolf, Perhats, Delao, & Clark, 2016). Patient care outcomes are negatively affected, and an overall decreased job performance is noticed (Copanitsanou, Fotos, & Brokalaki, 2017; Laschinger, 2014; Spence Laschinger, 2014). These issues have been frequently discussed within the literature and awareness of the problem has risen (Castronovo, Pullizzi, & Evans, 2016; Coile, 2016; Edmonson, Bolick, & Lee, 2017; Fleming, 2016; Giorgi et al., 2016; Granstra, 2015; Manton, 2017; Wilson, 2016; Wolf, Perhats, Clark, Moon, & Zavotsky, 2017), however the cycle of bullying and violence continues.

Workplace bullying is a long-standing issue that is damaging to individuals and to workplaces as wholes, worldwide. This session will involve interactive discussion among scholars from across the globe. It is intended to facilitate scholarly brainstorming that can foster development of potential research ideas that will benefit from national and international collaboration. Because it is a global nursing issue, workplace bullying warrants focused scholarly investigation and dialogue. STTI provides the perfect forum to bring together key informants to identify research priorities which include intervention research and identify possible funding streams and agree timelines for proposal development. This interactive discussion will attempt to gather together nursing scholars to brainstorm possibilities of working together to develop or extend research that is currently ongoing.