Background: In recent years the prevalence of incivility in educational settings has received heightened attention in academic and popular press. In light of nursing’s position as a profession of humanistic, caring interaction, measures to reduce incivility are of dire need in the academic setting. The presence of uncivil behaviors not only diminishes the modeling of professional nursing and fails to set a standard of acceptable behavior, but restricts learning and destroys the educational environment. Missing from current research is the study of whether faculty, using a conscious, caring approach are able to defuse escalating uncivil encounters. The purpose of this phenomenological investigation was to describe the lived experiences of nursing faculty who have experienced or witnessed incivility in the classroom and to elicit reflection on how these situations might have been defused.
Method: A phenomenological approach was used to guide data collection and analysis. Purposive sampling will be used to recruit 10 nurse educators who self-identify as having experienced incivility in the classroom as a nurse educator. Participants meeting the inclusion criteria participated in single session, 60 minute interviews with one of the co-researchers. Inclusion criteria consisted of possessing a Master’s degree in nursing and have been employed in a school-based, classroom setting as nurse educator for longer than 12 months.
Findings: Two themes were identified: The first theme, Tolerance, illustrated how perpetuation of incivility occurred. A second theme, Opportunities to Diffuse, addressed actions that could, and were, taken to deescalate incivility through conscious action. Conscious action became the “Living Rule” of embodiment of Caritas practices. Caring begins in nursing classrooms and moves outward into the clinical environment. Fostering a community of care begins with respectful regard prior to clinical engagement.