Harm, Threat, or Challenge, Nursing Students in Clinical Education Settings

Friday, 24 July 2015: 4:10 PM

Constance Ann Thomas, PhD, RN
School of Nursing, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN

The majority of students in a baccalaureate nursing program are traditionally new graduates from high school.  The research shared the need for educating nursing students about incivility and methods for responding to it when encountered in a clinical education setting, and to gain insights on what events or behaviors students identified as uncivil as well as their emotional and behavioral responses to those events.  The background for this research included studies on incivility that were conducted internationally and in the United States.  Empirical research studies were reviewed for incivility on general workplaces, employed nurses, nursing education, clinical settings, faculty incivility towards nursing students, nursing student’s incivility toward faculty, and nursing curriculum.  The primary research question was: How do nursing students in a clinical education setting describe their experience with incivility?  The basic qualitative method of open ended conversational interviews and audio taping of participants were transcribed and then fact checked from each interview.  The transcriptions that provided data was aligned with the primary and secondary research questions and reflected the empirical literature reviewed.  The data was analyzed for recurring patterns and new themes using a constant comparative method for each interview.  The information supported the empirical findings from previous research in which incivility was found to be prevalent in nursing milieus, and it was present during the clinical education of nursing students in this study.  The participants in this study felt unprepared to effectively respond when encountering incivility and experienced emotional and behavioral harm from the encounters.  The research demonstrated a gap in preparing students and making them aware that incivility may occur in nursing.  There is a need to provide information early in the nursing curriculum about incivility and methods for responding to it. Nurse educators have a responsibility to provide knowledge about incivility and effective communication methods when encountered. There is also a need to advocate for a change in the nursing culture when socializing students into nursing during their clinical education.