Workplace Bullying And Effective And Ineffective Management Strategies

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Forty-nine percent of all American workers have reported that they have been affected by workplace bullying, whether they were the target or the witness (2). The nursing profession is no exception to this startling statistic. Both the American Nurses Association (ANA) and The Joint Commission (TJC) have addressed the need for a positive work environment that is “free of abusive behavior, such as bullying, hostility, abuse of authority, and reprisal for identifying abuse in the workplace” (8). Bullying in nursing is thought to begin during undergraduate education and extend into the workplace after graduation (3), with new nurses being suffering the most (6). With the prevalence of those who have been bullied in the workplace, it is safe to say that a nurse or nursing student will be the target of this type of violence at some point in their career (3). The purpose of this paper is to explore the issue of workplace bullying specific to nursing, effective and ineffective management strategies to confront this problem, and the potential barriers to addressing the situation. Bullying behaviors are defined as being “systematized, targeted, relentless, and long-term” (5). To be classified as bullying it has to be a repeated behavior that escalates over time and involves a target that is structurally unable to protect or defend his or herself (5). There are many different types of bullying that can occur in a nursing environment. Differing bullying tactics fall under

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