Date of Graduation

Spring 2013


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope


Horizontal violence, or bullying, is a common occurrence within the nursing profession. The phenomenon consists of a group of destructive behaviors involving coworkers of similar status. Bullying has many appearances, including verbal abuse, undermining activities, gossip, isolation, intimidation, belittlement, and humiliation. Literature describes horizontal violence in nursing. However there is little research published regarding the effect of generational differences. There are many questions left unanswered: 1) What are the generational differences in knowledge of and perceptions of horizontal violence among nurses? and 2) What is the incidence of bullying reported by nurses of all generations? The second category of research questions focuses on the educational preparation of the nursing generations: 3) Were nurses given any education regarding horizontal violence in their basic nursing program or in their workplace? A mixed method descriptive study consisting of an anonymous survey was conducted in an endoscopy unit and an orthopedic surgery unit at two different level 1 trauma hospitals in Southwest Missouri. A convenience sample of female registered nurses participated with 21% (N=30) response rate. All generations were represented in the sample with younger generations experiencing bullying more often, however all generations witnessed bullying at similar rates. Participants all agreed that neither the nursing program or workplace educated on nurse-to-nurse bullying. It was determined that emphasis on education both in nursing school and in the workplace are key to lowering the incidence of bullying as well as clear institutional policies to manage bullying incidents.


bullying, horizontal violence, nurse-to-nurse bullying, lateral violence, oppression, workplace violence

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© Laura Dawn Clark

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