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The article, “The Bullying Aspect of Workplace Violence in Nursing” by Michelle Johnston, BSN, RN, Phylavanh Pahnhtharath, BSN, RN, and Brenda S. Jackson, PhD, RN discusses a kind of workplace violence, nurse bullying, that is considered to be one of the most prevalent types that occur in healthcare organizations not only on a national, but also an international level.  The article focuses on its existence and proposes ways to address and prevent it.  Thus, a healthy workplace environment for nurses can be established and maintained.

Many in the healthcare field, not only nurses, have heard the phrase, “nurses eat their young” repeatedly.  The authors discuss various theories that show that this workplace violence has been a part of nursing history and has created a toxic environment whereby new nurses and students are the usual victims of this abuse who “may internalize it as a norm within the profession and eventually become bullies in their own right (Johnston, Phanhtharath, & Jackson, The Bullying Aspect of Workplace Violence in Nursing 2009, p. 288).”  Furthermore, The Joint Commission has recognized that this is an issue of interest they want to be involved with, because “there is mounting evidence that unhealthy work environments contribute to medical errors, ineffective patient care, interdisciplinary conflict, and stress among healthcare professional(Johnston et al., 2009, p. 290).” 

The authors have set out to provide recommendations that may attack nurse bullying.  Through a statistical survey conducted in the United States and 17 other countries, nurses were questioned about aspects of nurse bullying and how it affected their workplace environment.  Furthermore, the authors illustrated the significance of nurse bullying, defined what nurse bullying is, gave a background or historical origin of nurse bullying, and provided interventions that could address this type of workplace violence.

They recognize specific theories that need to be considered when attempting to stamp out this kind of behavior.  Among the various theories, the theory of human behavior is considered to be very relevant.  Also, one “must also understand the context in which human behavior is occurring and how “it,” in this instance the environment of healthcare influences human behavior (Johnston et al., 2009, p. 290).”  Another important theory that is referenced is Madeline Leninger’s culture care diversity and universality theory.  In the promotion of positive behavioral norms, the author discusses Parsons’ Health Promoting Organizations model.  Also, it is recognized that nurses consist of a diverse group of people with different personalities, values, and cultural and ethnic origins.  In summary, these various theories and model produce the desired outcome of attacking nurse bullying and very likely could produce positive results.

Nurse bullying has unfortunately been a part of the profession of nursing for a long time.  Things will only get better when nurses bring this issue to the forefront.  However old or deeply ingrained this workplace violence is a part of nursing; it is something that all nurses from anywhere in the United States as well as around the world see as something that should not be tolerated.  Nurses need to no longer be victims. 

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