Nurse bullying is becoming surprisingly common in the workplace. It can be identified by a persistent pattern of mistreatment, including verbal, nonverbal, psychological, or even physical.
Staying informed and approaching the workplace with the tips below in mind will empower you to avoid nurse bullying in the workplace—or quickly resolve it, should it occur.
1. Remain confident
By remaining confident in your abilities, you can avoid being a target of bullying behaviors. Remember, you successfully completed school and received a license to practice in your state. You have earned your spot alongside the other nurses and should be treated with respect and dignity.
2. Be professional
It is vital that you remain calm, collected, and professional in your responses to a bullying individual. Avoid any behaviors or actions—like arguing, yelling, aggressive body language, or profane language—that can come back to negatively reflect on your level of professionalism. Don’t let their behaviors influence yours; you are not the one with the problem.
3. Confront the bully
It is important that you share your concerns with the individual who is bullying you. This is best done informally after a shift and away from other coworkers. In most cases, the person will be unaware and will apologize, causing your working relationship to improve.
4. Report bullying behaviors
If bullying behaviors continue after you confront the individual(s), it is imperative that you notify your nursing manager immediately. Make sure you provide detailed information regarding the behaviors demonstrated, any actions you took to try to establish resolve, and how these behaviors are affecting you at work.
5. Advocate for peer-to-peer accountability
Creating a culture of peer accountability is one of the best ways to eliminate nurse bullying. By holding everyone on the team equally accountable for their behaviors, upholding standards of professionalism, and meeting all standards of practice, bullying behaviors decrease and work morale increases.
*This article is a collaborative work with Kaplan Test Prep and Damion Jenkins, RN, MSN and was originally posted on Calling All Nurses. The infographic is the sole creation and property of Kaplan Nursing.