Nursing Students and Faculty Perceptions of Incivility in an Urban Jamaican University

Sunday, 22 July 2018: 10:35 AM

Ferneka C. Deleveaux, MSNEd
Continuing Nursing Education Department, Sandilands Rehabilitation Center, Nassau, Bahamas
Joyette Aiken, MScN Ed, RN, RM, CertORN
The University of the West Indies, St. Andrew, Kingston, Jamaica

Purpose: To describe the perception of incivility by nursing educators and 2nd- 4th year nursing students in the Jamaican nursing education environment


Using a quantitative descriptive comparative study design, the Incivility in Nursing Education-Revised (INE-R) survey was completed by 126 2nd -4th year systematically sampled nursing students, and 20 nursing educators at the UWI School of Nursing Mona in June-July 2017. Data analysis was conducted using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) program version 20. Descriptive statistics in the form of frequencies were obtained for demographic data and the four single non-scale items. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine if perception of incivility scores differed significantly among faculty age group, student year group, faculty years of experience and faculty education level. T-test was used to likewise determine difference between faculty and students, and between two student age groups, and Chi-square were used to determine if perception of incivility perpetrators and the level of incivility were of significantly different proportions among faculty and students, and among scale behavioral items. Top five rankings of most uncivil behaviors and most frequently occurring behaviors for both student and faculty were determined by summing percentages and ranking. Ethical approval was obtained from the UWI (FMS) Ethics Committee, and participants gave informed consent.


There was a statistically significant difference in perception of the level of incivility with most students (68.3%) indicating a moderate to serious problem, compared to just 20% of faculty agreeing. A significantly larger proportion of faculty (75%) than students (31.7%) also perceived students to be the more likely perpetrators of incivility. The most uncivil student behaviors, common to both faculty and student perceptions and ranked within the top 5 included: making condescending rude remarks, and sending inappropriate or rude emails. The most uncivil faculty behaviors common to students and faculty and ranked within the top 5 were unfair grading and exerting superiority. Furthermore, both students and faculty ranked using a computer, phone or other media device, sleeping or not paying attention in class, arriving late for class/other activities, and holding side conversations that distract you and others within the top five most frequently occurring student behaviors. In comparing faculty and students, only two behaviors ranked in the top five were shared as most frequently occurring faculty behaviors. They include arriving late for class or other scheduled activities, and being unavailable outside of class. There were no statistically significant differences in perceptions between students and faculty, age groups, faculty years of experience, and student year groups. However there were statistically significant differences between student and faculty perceptions of the level and frequency of incivility regarding unfair grading, use of computer and devices in class, and efficacy of teaching methods.


The perceptions of a moderate to serious level of incivility among respondents are indicative of a serious issue that is not only present in the Jamaican nursing workforce as research suggests, but possibly transferred there from academia. Continued occurrence of uncivil behaviors is fruitful ground for the attrition of both nursing students and faculty in a time where there is already a greater demand for more nursing graduates to offset nursing shortage, and more nurse educators to meet the demand. Other adverse effects include a diminished learning environment, impaired nurse student relationship and student’s learning, as well as matriculation of uncivil behaviors into the workplace, negatively affecting patient care and professional image. The findings of perceptions that significantly differ among students and faculty may provide an impetus for policy and strategy changes to better combat the cycle of incivility addressing not only student but faculty perpetrator. Open forums with key focus on addressing incivility, perceptual differences and therapeutic communication techniques are suggested along with the development of diverse committees inclusive of students to provide objective opportunity for the airing of grievances.