Nursing students' experience of bullying and/or harassment during clinical placement

Birks, Melanie, Harrison, Helena, Zhao, Lin, Wright, Helen, Chun Tie, Ylona, and Rathnayaka, Nadun (2024) Nursing students' experience of bullying and/or harassment during clinical placement. Nurse Education Today, 136. 106151.

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Problem or background: Bullying is a recognised problem in nursing. Nursing students are particularly vulnerable. Bullying and harassment of nursing students can be detrimental to both students and recipients of care.

Aim: This study aims to identify the incidence and nature of bullying and/or harassment experienced by nursing students in Sri Lanka.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey consisting of eight demographic questions and 15 items specific to the experience of bullying and harassment was administered to nursing students online.

Findings: A total of 656 students from 26 nursing education institutions in Sri Lanka participated. The majority were female with a mean age of 24.4 years. More than a quarter of respondents reported that they had experienced bullying and/or harassment while on clinical placement, with a further 16.7 % being unsure. Most bullying or harassment (55 %) occurred in hospitals with 29 % experienced in community settings. Registered nurses, including nurse managers and clinical facilitators were the most common perpetrators. Verbal abuse was the most frequent type of behaviour reported.

Discussion: These findings support existing literature that indicates that bullying of nursing students is an international phenomenon. The context of this study provides clues as to how culture may influence the problem. There is a need to better understand bullying and harassment in the environments in which it occurs, in order to identify strategies that can bridge cultures and settings.

Conclusion: The incidence of bullying and harassment of nursing students in Sri Lanka is concerning. Further research is needed to identify and evaluate targeted strategies to help prevent negative outcomes in all nursing contexts.

Item ID: 82482
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1532-2793
Keywords: Bullying, Clinical placement, Harassment, Nursing, Nursing students, Sri Lanka
Copyright Information: © 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2024 03:29
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420599 Nursing not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1601 Learner and learning > 160102 Higher education @ 70%
20 HEALTH > 2099 Other health > 209999 Other health not elsewhere classified @ 30%
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