Impacts of Bullying at the Workplace for New Nurses

Bullying is a pervasive problem in many workplaces, especially for new nurses who are trying to establish their professional identity and competence. Bullying can have negative impacts on the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of new nurses, as well as on their job satisfaction, performance, and retention. In this paper, some of the common forms and effects of bullying at the workplace for new nurses are discussed, and some strategies to prevent and cope with bullying are suggested.

Forms and Effects of Bullying

Bullying can take various forms, such as verbal abuse, intimidation, humiliation, exclusion, sabotage, or unfair criticism. Bullying can be perpetrated by senior nurses, managers, physicians, or other colleagues. Bullying can occur in different settings, such as during orientation, in staff meetings, in patient care areas, or in social media. Bullying can be overt or covert, direct or indirect, intentional or unintentional (Hutchinson et al., 2019).

Bullying can have detrimental effects on the health and well-being of new nurses. Bullying can cause stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, low self-esteem, physical symptoms, such as headaches, insomnia, or gastrointestinal problems, and suicidal ideation (Laschinger & Grau, 2012). Bullying can also impair the professional development and performance of new nurses. Bullying can reduce the confidence, competence, and creativity of new nurses, and increase their errors, absenteeism, turnover intention, and actual turnover (Berry et al., 2012).

Strategies to Prevent and Cope with Bullying

Bullying at the workplace for new nurses is a complex and multifaceted issue that requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach to address. Some of the strategies that can help prevent and cope with bullying are:

– Creating a positive and supportive organizational culture that values respect, diversity, and teamwork.
– Developing and implementing clear policies and procedures that define bullying behaviors and consequences.
– Providing education and training for all staff members on how to recognize, report, and resolve bullying incidents.
– Establishing a mentorship program that pairs new nurses with experienced nurses who can provide guidance, feedback, and support.
– Encouraging new nurses to seek help from trusted colleagues, managers, counselors, or employee assistance programs when they experience or witness bullying.
– Developing coping skills and resilience to deal with stress and emotions caused by bullying.


Bullying at the workplace for new nurses is a serious issue that can have negative impacts on the individual and organizational outcomes. It is important to raise awareness and take action to prevent and stop bullying behaviors. By creating a respectful and supportive work environment, new nurses can thrive and contribute to the quality of patient care.


Berry P.A., Gillespie G.L., Fisher B.S., Gormley D., & Loeb S.J. (2012). Recognizing signs of nurse-to-nurse horizontal violence in the perioperative environment. AORN Journal 96(4), 373–379.

Hutchinson M., Jackson D., Wilkes L., & Vickers M.H. (2019). Destructive leadership: Causes,
consequences and countermeasures. In J.R. Carvalho & T.D. Costa (Eds.), Organizational Behavior: Emerging Knowledge for Emerging Markets (pp. 1–18). IntechOpen.

Laschinger H.K.S., & Grau A.L. (2012). The influence of personal dispositional factors
and organizational resources on workplace violence,
and health outcomes in new graduate nurses: A cross-sectional study. International Journal of Nursing Studies 49(3), 282–291.

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