Incivility in the Workplace: Implications for Nursing Education

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 11:00 AM

Kimberly Ann Balko, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN
School of Nursing, Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY, USA

Students in RN-BS nursing degree programs face barriers to successful completion of their programs of study such as memories of incivility within their pre-licensure nursing program and their current educational and workplace experiences of incivility and ageism.  This incivility, along with generational differences, adds to the growing concerns of nurses’ intent to quit their employers or the profession, which adds to the current and future nursing shortage.  The incorporation of multigenerational education for nurses can enhance generational awareness including ageism, communication skills, conflict resolution, coaching, and mentoring to guide employed RNs and nursing students to produce positive, cohesive working relationships in the workplace. 

This research study used a quantitative correlational survey design to survey registered nurses enrolled in an online RN to BS nursing program.  Three instruments were used to gather data for analysis: Cortina, Kabat-Farr, Leskinen, Huerta, and Magley’s, Workplace Incivility Scale; Palmore’s Ageism Survey; and Kelloway, Gottlieb, and Barham’s, Turnover Intention Scale. A demographic questionnaire was also incorporated into the survey to obtain relevant demographics including gender, approximate age, employment status, shift work, years of nursing experience, leadership role, work setting, race, ethnicity, and state of residence.  The findings indicated that in the workplace RN to BS nursing students experienced incivility, ageism, and turnover.  Results also indicated that both incivility and ageism are experienced regardless of gender, age, or generational cohort.  Therefore, it is important that educators seek ways to support  RN to BS nursing students  within their work environments and classroom settings, so they continue their education, go on to graduate, and competently perform their role within the workplace to ultimately remain in the profession.