Mean Nurses: Verbal Abuse of Early-Career Colleagues

Laurie Scudder, DNP, NP


July 22, 2013

In This Article


This is yet one more study to document the often dysfunctional ways that nurses treat each other. Although it is reassuring that only 5% of respondents reported high levels of abuse, it is distressing that fully half of the sample reported being on the receiving end of some degree of abuse. It should be noted that this study excluded abuse by supervisors and physicians; the abuse reported by these nurses was heaped on by their peers. Although this phenomenon has been reported in previous research, those results came with the caveat that the studies had methodologic flaws and used convenience samples of nurses, so the nurses selected might not have been representative of all nurses. Those limitations do not apply to this large, randomly selected, national sample.

Nurses can't ignore this one. It's time to look inside and make sure that we are treating our colleagues (especially those important new graduates who will someday be providing care to us older nurses) the way we would wish to be treated.



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