A 'rite of passage?': bullying experiences of nursing students in Australia

Birks, Melanie, Budden, Lea, Biedermann, Narelle, Park, Tanya, and Chapman, Ysanne (2018) A 'rite of passage?': bullying experiences of nursing students in Australia. Collegian, 25 (1). pp. 45-50.

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Background: Bullying in nursing remains an unacceptable international phenomenon and one that is widely reported in the literature. Recently, reports of bullying and harassment of nursing students have been increasing. Aim: This paper aims to describe bullying and harassment experienced by Australian nursing students while on clinical placement, as told by the participants.

Methods: As part of a larger study, 884 Australian baccalaureate nursing students were surveyed to identify the nature and extent of their experiences of bullying and/or harassment during clinical placement. Almost half of the students (430) provided open-ended comments. These textual data were explored using a content analysis approach.

Findings: The major themes derived from the analysis consisted of: manifestations of bullying and harassment; the perpetrators, consequences and impacts. Bullying behaviours included various forms of verbal, physical and sexual abuse. Perpetrators of bullying included other nurses, medical professionals, administrative and support staff. Students reported anxiety, panic attacks, physical symptoms of distress and loss of confidence and self-esteem from their experience of bullying during clinical placement.

Discussion: Bullying in nursing is a widespread yet poorly understood phenomenon that impacts negatively on the learning experience of vulnerable nursing students, effecting them physically, mentally and emotionally. The potential implications of the bullying of nursing students on patient care reinforces the need for the culture of bullying that exists amongst the nursing profession to be addressed. Conclusion: The findings of this research have implications for nursing educators and clinicians. Recommendations include ensuring adequate preparation of students, clinical instructors and registered nurses who work with students in the practice environment.

Item ID: 47991
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1876-7575
Keywords: bullying, incivility, harassment, nursing education, nursing students, workplace violence
Copyright Information: Published Version: © 2017 Australian College of Nursing Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. Accepted Version: © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2017 01:23
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 100%
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