Significant Impact of Workplace Bullying on Novice Nurses

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of workplace bullying and its effects on the work productivity of novice nurses (Berry et al., 2011, p.80).

Variables: Data was collected on the frequency of workplace bullying, demographic characteristics, and workplace productivity following a bullying-related incident. Demographic variables included the level of education, the health care facility in which novice nurses and currently employed, as well as race, ethnicity, age, and sex (Berry et al., 2011, p.82).

Methods: A highly descriptive internet-based cross-sectional survey design used to study 197 novice nurses in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

Descriptive data: Data were collected from 197 novice nurses who had been in practice for less than 2 years. The survey consisted of 3 components including the Healthcare Productivity Survey (HPS), the Negative Acts Questionnaire (NAQ) to measure the novice nurses' perception of being targeted over a 6 month period, followed by a demographic survey. HPS is a 29-item questionnaire that focuses on cognitive demands, handling or managing workload, support and communication with patients and visitors, in addition to providing safe and competent care (Berry et al., 2011, p.82). NAQ is a 22-item inventory of personal, work, and physical bullying-related events in an effort to measure the perceived exposure to bullying and victimization of lateral violence among novice nurses while the demographics survey measures the education level, healthcare employment facility, ethnicity, race, age, and sex, and (Berry et al., 2011, p82).

Understanding: Workplace bullying impacts the productivity of novice nurses by affecting cognitive demands and the ability to handle and manage their workload (Berry et al., 2011, p.80).

Ethical Issues in gathering data: Before conducting the study, the “instructional review board approval was secured” (Berry et al., 2011, p.81).

Ethical Violations in results: The results did not reveal any ethical violations.

Ethical Challenges: There were no ethical challenges present in the study.

Question #2-Purpose: The purpose was to identify the relationship between workplace bullying and novice nurses' work productivity based on educational level, age, ethnicity, and gender.

Variables: Work productivity is the dependent variable while the independent variable was workplace bullying, educational level, age, ethnicity, gender, target, and perpetrator.

Methods: Regression modeling was performed in associated with work productivity. The model was based on a standard entry regression of workplace bullying and demographic variables.

Descriptive data: The study involved nurses with less than 2 years of experience. A mailing list of newly licensed nurses in 2009 and 2010 was obtained and a random sample of 5,000 eligible participants was randomly drawn (Berry et al., 2011, p.81). Of this random sample, 197 novice nurses actually participated and results were drawn from the three-component survey.

Inferential Statistic Results: About 44.7% of novice nurses reported repeatedly being the target of workplace bullying perpetrated by 63% of experienced nurses. Based on the results, work productivity regression was significant and adversely affected by workplace bullying (r = -.322, p = .045); the overall regression modeling was quite significant as it accounted for more than a quarter of the variance in work productivity (r = .483, R2 = .322) (Berry et al., 2011, p.80).

Conclusion: The study shows that workplace bullying of novice nurses adversely affects their work productivity. Therefore, healthcare administration and nurse managers “need to continue surveillance and interventions beyond policy implementation to transform the work environment (Berry et al., 2011, p.84).

Mediating Variable: The study did not take into account factors that may affect workplace bullying including disputes and relationship alternating experiences that occurred outside of the workplace.


Berry, P.A., Gillespie, G.L, & Gates, D. (2012). Novice nurse productivity following workplace bullying. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 44(1), 80-7. Retrieved from http://search.proq