Nurse bullying: New idea to solve this pervasive, unsafe, & destructive problem!

FollowFollow on FacebookFollow on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterFollow on LinkedInFollow on TumblrPin on Pinterest

Castronovo-095_LinkedIn_Cropby Marie A. Castronovo, MS, RN, FNP-BC

Nurse bullying has been called “nursing’s dirty little secret” — but it’s actually not “little” at all. It’s a pervasive problem, resulting in significant consequences to health care institutions, the nursing profession, the health of nurses, and the safety of patients. It even results in patient deaths. And yet, tragically, many hospitals either deny that it exists or accept it as the norm.

This article demonstrates the critical need to resolve the problem of nurse bullying, and puts forth a solution to achieve that goal. In a nutshell, the proposed solution involves measuring nurses’ perceptions of bullying at hospitals, and holding institutions accountable for eliminating it.

There are two incentives built into the idea:

  • a financial one – which links the level of bullying to the amount of federal money institutions receive
  • a reputational one – in which the levels of nurse bullying at each institution would be made public for patients and prospective employees to see.

Learn more about this new approach:  Nurse Bullying: A Review And A Proposed Solution


Marie A. Castronovo is a Family Nurse Practitioner practicing in New York City. She is the lead author of “Nurse Bullying: A Review and a Proposed Solution,” published in the May/June issue of Nursing Outlook. She is also a frequent speaker on the topic of nurse bullying, with a focus on its resolution. In addition, Marie served on the Advisory Committee of the American Nurses Association’s Workplace Violence and Incivility Professional Issues Panel.

Prior to becoming a nurse, Marie worked in the business world for 25 years, where she was recognized as a leader in the international tax profession.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Communication in Healthcare, Complexity in nursing, Diversity, Healthy Workplaces, Holistic Health, Nurse Entreprenuers, Nurse Leadership, Patient Advocacy, Patient Safety, Teambuilding, Workplace Bullying and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Nurse bullying: New idea to solve this pervasive, unsafe, & destructive problem!

  1. Anonymous says:

    We need more to disk like this. Having been on the receiving end, it’s life destroying and when you get through the other end you never forget it. I’m a nurse with over two decades experience and it’s still hard to stand up to because although we all know it’s wrong, by very often find yourself fighting it alone.

    • I hear you. A tragedy for sure. And assertiveness is way more complex than meets the eye. Without trust that you’ll be heard and respected in such situations, things could get worse. One reason why I like this idea is that it puts some onus on organizations to create and sustain safe cultures. (Safe for patients and staff!)

    • Marie A Castronovo says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience. You bring up excellent points – all of which demonstrate the critical need to resolve the issue of nurse bullying. I am hopeful that our proposed solution will someday be implemented, and that it will help put an end to this horrible tragedy, once and for all.

What are your thoughts?