MS Nursing thesis defence
What are Nurses’ Perceptions of Nurse-to-Nurse Incivility in the Workplace
by: Julianne House
Supervisor: Dr. Lynn Musto
Second Reader: Dr. Sheryl Reimer-Kirkham
Third Reader: Dr. Maggie Theron
Exam Chair: Dr. Landa Terblanche
While nursing has flourished into an autonomous, compassionate and scholarly profession, an insidious, pervasive problem exists within nursing environments: workplace incivility. Disrespectful and disruptive behaviour including incivility, bullying, and harassment are well documented in the nursing literature but little research has examined the perceptions of nurses who witness nurse-to-nurse incivility. This qualitative study examines nurses’ perceptions after witnessing incivility in their workplaces. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 registered nurses to examine their perceptions after witnessing workplace incivility. Using interpretive description methodology, the overarching theme, avoiding confrontation, was identified. Main themes from the data included normalizing incivility and the relationship between incivility and the workplace. Recommendations for the nursing profession include: increasing awareness and education regarding workplace incivility and how to manage it; fostering supportive work environments for frontline staff and management; and educating nursing students and registered nurses that this behaviour is not acceptable and teaching them how to respond to incivility.