Healthy Workforce Institute (Formerly RTConnections) – The Premiere Nursing Blog

September 3, 20195

Are you a Target, Witness, or Bully at Work?

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One of the managers I’ve been working with (within my consulting practice) shared that one of his new nurses ran off the unit crying at the end of her last shift. He found out it was because one of the more experienced nurses criticized her openly in front
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August 27, 20195

7 Tips to Help You Adapt to Change

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Change. Back to school brings big change at our home. Back into routine, back into early mornings, back into last minute outfit changes, and back to quick sneaker double knots and running out the door to catch the bus. Anyone else experiencing this change right now?   Maybe you aren’t experiencing the back to school routine
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August 20, 20197

5 Questions Managers Should Ask Employees During One-on-Ones

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We know through various surveys and studies (Gallup is one of them) that one of the most important reasons why someone stays or leaves their job is the relationship they have with their boss. Although recent studies show that career advancement is another reason employees leave, many times,
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August 6, 20197

5 Worst Mistakes Leaders Make When Addressing Bad Behavior

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Dealing with employee bad behavior is one of the most challenging aspects of being a leader. Leaders are often heard saying, “If only my employees could get along, my job would be so much easier.” Yet, it’s rare that an organization provides leaders with the skills and tools
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July 23, 201910

How to Respond to a Nasty-Gram

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Tammy is an educator who coordinates the nurse residency program at her hospital.  She received an email from one of the front-line managers that immediately elicited a full-blown fight or flight response in her body. The manager basically accused Tammy of being rude to one of her new
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July 16, 20199

Dealing with a Narcissistic Bully

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My daughter played basketball and softball almost her entire life.  As a parent of a sports junkie, I have to admit, there were some games when I secretly hoped someone, either us or the other team, would get “10 run ruled.” Which means, that if either team is
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July 2, 20195

3 Steps to Claim Your Independence from Bullying in Healthcare

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Wen was looking forward to a second career as a nurse. She already had a biology degree and spent 6 years working in a lab but felt the calling to become a nurse. The call happened during the time she spent at the hospital when her mother was
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June 25, 20195

11 Ways to Celebrate your Coworkers

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At the Healthy Workforce Institute, we spend a lot of our time talking and writing about bullying and incivility, but let’s take a time-out from all of that! Let’s talk about celebrating those glorious, wonderful coworkers who deserve to be recognized. Yes, I am referring to the nurses
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June 18, 20193

How to Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Bully – 3 Strategies for Leaders

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During my foundational workshop, Cultivating a Healthy Workforce by Eradicating Bullying and Incivility, participants have an opportunity to make a list of behaviors they’ve either witnessed or experienced in their workplace that they consider unprofessional or inappropriate. Dealing with a passive-aggressive employee is ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS on the
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June 4, 20197

Leaders, Is Your Bully Unable or Just Unwilling to Behave At Work?

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Carmelita is the OR manager in a mid-size tertiary acute care medical center. She’s been in her role for 2 ½ years and knew going into the role that it was going to be rough. The previous manager resigned citing the “toxic work culture” as the reason. Carmelita
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May 28, 20198

Bullying in the Workplace – Against the Law? What Healthcare Leaders Need to Know

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Jamie was an eager and hardworking new nurse. She was excited to land a job working in the Emergency Department at a large Level I trauma hospital; her dream job. However, it wasn’t long before Jamie realized she made a mistake. The ED had a reputation of “eating
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May 14, 20196

ENOUGH! Eradicate Bullying & Incivility in Healthcare: Strategies for Front Line Leaders

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When I first started this journey to eradicate bullying and incivility in healthcare, my focus was on individual nurses. As soon as I “opened shop” and proclaimed to the world that enough was enough and that I was taking action against bullying, nurses from all over the world
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April 23, 20193

High Standards or Arrogant Bully? 5 Questions to Ask

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Teresa has been a nurse in the Surgical ICU for 45 years. She’s known for her excellent clinical skills, especially when it comes to the sickest of the sick. If a patient becomes critical on the unit, you want Teresa there. However, Teresa is also known for her
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April 16, 20196

The Cost of Inaction When Leaders Fail to Take Action Against Toxic “Stars”

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About 20 years ago, I quit a great job because of a toxic person. When I handed my boss my resignation, he attempted to talk me out of my decision. He could not understand why I was resigning since I had outstanding performance reviews.  Because I feared how this
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April 9, 20197

A Top Down-Bottom Up Approach to Eradicating Workplace Bullying & Incivility in Healthcare

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What do you do if you’re a healthcare executive and your recent turnover data indicates a bullying and incivility problem?  Do you sigh and say, “Well. That’s just the way it’s always been?” Do you call a mandatory meeting with your leaders and tell them to “fix this
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April 2, 20194

7 Things You Need to Know About Bullies So You Can Stop Them

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I’ve spent the last 27 years as a nurse and have witnessed bullying behavior in every role I’ve held. As a new nurse working at the bedside, a homecare nurse, an educator, and even at the executive level – I’ve experienced or witnessed bullying and incivility. Nurse bullying
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March 26, 201910

From Great Staff Nurse to Great Leader: 3 Keys to Success

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As a staff nurse in my unit for 11 years I was considered a clinically competent nurse. I loved working in surgical services and felt like I found my niche. After the nurse manager of 26 years retired we went through two more nurse managers in two years.
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March 19, 20196

High Stress and Nurse Bullying: Is there a Connection?

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Kate walks onto the unit about ten minutes before the start of second shift. You’re sitting in your office when you hear her tell anyone standing still to brace themselves because Tangie is on her way up and will be on her typical warpath. She goes on to
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March 12, 20197

Eliminating Bullying & Incivility Through Deliberate Documentation

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Erik had had enough of his charge nurse, Taylor, who is a known bully. For years, everyone put up with her because she was “so good.” However, Erik just lost another new nurse because of her and decided enough is enough. He can no longer afford to lose
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March 5, 20195

Stop Studying and Start Doing Something About Bullying in Healthcare

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I just returned from the Sigma Nursing Healthy Work Environment Conference. During this conference, nurses from around the world shared their research findings related to cultivating a healthy work environment. While only a small percentage of the presentation topics included bullying or incivility, it was clear that the
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February 26, 20199

How To Deal With Disruptive, Rude Physicians

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When I was a new nurse, I was scared of Dr. Rothschild. He had the arrogance of Steve Jobs and since I was a brand new, shy, and insecure nurse, he intimidated the heck out of me. I prayed everyday that I wouldn’t be assigned one of his
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February 19, 20197

3 Steps to Intervene with an Abrasive Leader

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Brad is one of your top managers. From his early beginnings at the hospital as a nursing aide to now running one of the largest hospital units, he’s known for handling crisis situations with efficiency and apparent ease. He sets high expectations for himself and for those who
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February 12, 20198

Six Critical Communication Tips for Creating Healthy Work Environments

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Brenda’s been a manager on a busy, emergency department for almost two years. Brenda and Elaine, the manager of the ICU, started at the hospital together and even received promotions around the same time. They’ve come to support one another through various ups and downs as bedside nurses
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February 5, 201910

The Four Characteristics of Cohesive Teams

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What’s the difference between waking up every day and looking forward to going into work versus feeling like you are about to walk the green mile? Many of us who work in healthcare love the unpredictability of our industry – the life and death situations we face, the
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January 29, 20199

How to Win at the Employee Blame Game

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In every workshop I conduct on addressing workplace bullying and incivility, leaders ALWAYS ask for help dealing with employees who never take responsibility for their actions. These are the employees who blame everyone else and rarely, if ever, take responsibility. For example, an employee makes a mistake but
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January 22, 20194

Using Curiosity to Deal with a Territorial Coworker

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Cheryl had her chair, her computer, and her med cart. Everyone in the ICU knew this; even the physicians, who wouldn’t dare sit in Cheryl’s chair and use her computer if she was in sight.  One night, Liz, one of the newer nurses, sat in Cheryl’s chair to
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January 15, 20198

4 Ways to Deal with a Toxic Coworker

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About 25 years ago I worked with a toxic individual. She bullied and knocked down those without power and kissed up to those with power. After this individual ruined many work lives (including my own), she was fired. I thought this ordeal was over until a strange thing
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January 8, 20195

Bottom Line Strategy To Comply with the 2019 Magnet® Requirements Regarding Workplace Violence

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Numerous studies show that Magnet® designated organizations have higher nurse satisfaction, less turnover, and they experience higher revenues, which offsets the high cost for achieving it. When an organization achieves Magnet® status, the public (which includes nurses) assumes the organization is committed to nursing excellence. Only 8.8% of
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Become a Better Coworker
January 1, 20199

10 Ways to Become a Better Coworker in the New Year

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Turning the New Year is my favorite time of year for two reasons.One is that New Year’s Day is my birthday and when I was a kid, my parents told me that the ball dropping and all of the parties happening around the world were to celebrate me. Well,
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Resilience
December 18, 20184

10 Steps to Building Your Resilience

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Can you believe that another year is almost over?!? The older I get, the faster the years seem to fly by. It seems like just yesterday I was a young adult venturing out to my first day of being a real nurse. Thirty four years later (yikes!), I
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Nurse Bullying
December 11, 20185

Nurse Bullying and Patient Safety: Understanding the 3 P’s of Safe Patient Care

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Disruptive behaviors in healthcare capture the attention of patients, providers, and even the community. You might think I’m talking about workplace violence, which is a concern in healthcare settings. However, I’m referring to bullying and other disruptive behaviors between professionals.  While most of the information shared about nurse bullying
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Resilience
December 4, 20183

Resilience: A High Reliability Organization Principle

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Leaders know that high reliability is necessary in healthcare, where the consequences of error are high, and margin of error is low. But how do we ensure that our entire team understands the importance of high reliability when they are faced with challenging, ever-changing environments and dissonance in
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Leadership
November 27, 20183

5 Healthcare Leadership Principles from Navy Seals

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I’ve learned over the years that healthcare organizations need to do a better job equipping their front line leaders with the skills, strategies, and core principles they need to address and eliminate workplace bullying and incivility. When I perform organizational assessments, what I typically find included in new
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Nurse bully preceptors
November 13, 20183

5 Ways to Make Sure the Preceptor Isn’t the Bully

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Sandy was a new nurse and although she was nervous, she was relieved to find out she was one of 4 new nurses hired in her department. At least she wasn’t alone! During their first week of orientation, all 4 nurses were told to stop by the unit
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Mean Nurse
November 6, 20187

When the Charge Nurse is the Bully

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Malaya is the charge nurse on an inpatient oncology unit. She is loved by the patients but hated by her colleagues. She takes 4-5 smoke breaks during her 12-hour shift; each 20 minutes long. Because she is the most experienced nurse on the unit, the newer nurses feel
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empathy
October 30, 20185

3 Types of Empathy Necessary For Effective Leadership

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Emily is a newer nurse manager, and it seems her organization, like many other organizations across America, is feeling the effects of the national nursing shortage, coupled with trying to keep its head above water financially. In an effort to effectively use its human capital in a more
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Nurses Can Stand Up to Nurse Bullying
October 23, 20183

5 Ways Novice Nurses Can Stand Up to Nurse Bullying

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Nurse bullying has been in existence for a long time and although there are a lot of theories behind why nurses “eat their young” and what bullying looks like, not a lot has been done to stop it. One of the reasons that this issue has gone on
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Deviant Behavior in Healthcare
October 16, 201810

Are You a Boiled Frog? How to Un-Normalize Deviant Behavior in Healthcare

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“When I was signed up for this course I thought, ‘Oh great. Why do I need to take this? We don’t have bullying in my workplace anyway.’ Boy was I wrong. I learned so much. Most important: bullying wears many faces.” A participant in my online course, Eradicating
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be kind
October 9, 20185

4 Reasons Why Kindness is Good for Your Work Culture

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I received a gift today… a gift of kindness. It wasn’t expected or asked for; wasn’t on my wish list or under a tree. It was a kind word, a gentle spirit, a voice sharing her thoughts and validating mine. What an awesome gift. As I sit to
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Bully Prevention
October 2, 20184

Clarity is King During National Bully Prevention Month

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During the month of October, the world comes together to raise awareness for bullying prevention and to reflect on where we have been, where we are now, and where we hope to be in the years to come. This year’s National Bullying Prevention Month marks the 12th anniversary
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travel nurse protect against bullying
September 25, 20182

How Travel Nurses Can Protect Themselves From Bullying

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Travel nursing seems so glamorous and adventurous, especially to newer, younger nurses who may not have the responsibilities of a family yet. In fact, I’ve talked with many aspiring nurses whose goal is to get their 1-2 years experience so they can travel across the country as a
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September 18, 20182

How R-E-S-P-E-C-T Shows Up Differently in the Workplace

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Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone treated each other with respect in the workplace? Employees respecting each other no matter what the situation would certainly make it easier for the manager. So often I’ve heard managers say, “I just wish my employees would be respectful towards each other
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September 11, 20185

Enhancing the Patient Experience: 5 Things Nurses Should Never Say

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Disruptive behaviors in healthcare impact the employees, the environment, and the patient experience. Thousands of healthcare employees over the years have experienced or witnessed incidents of bad behaviors in the workplace by their colleagues. These behaviors range from eye rolling and gossip to yelling, undermining, and sabotage.  However,
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September 4, 20188

10 Ways to Spread Kindness at Work

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Disruptive behaviors feel like they are on the rise – and not just in healthcare. Bad behaviors are showing up across the globe, in our cities, our schools, neighborhoods, and our homes. Every day we witness acts of cruelty, ignorance, bullying, incivility, and just plan ol’ meanness. We
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August 28, 20184

3 Resiliency Practices to Protect against Disruptive Behaviors in the Workplace

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Each day nurses assess patients, develop and deliver a plan of care and evaluate patient’s progress of healing. Nurses also see patients and their families supporting one another, caring for each other and building on strengths to weather the storm. During this process, nurses witness remarkable resilience – that
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August 21, 20189

When Nurse Bullying Leads To Suicide

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As many of you already know, Rhian Collins, a nurse who worked at Cefn Coed Psychiatric Hospital in Swansea, Wales, hung herself in her home. Rhian left behind a fiance and two children. This nurse allegedly committed suicide because of a bullying situation at work. Some say she
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August 14, 20184

How Healthcare Leaders Can Spot a Gang in Their Department

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Who would ever think cliques and gangs could actually exist in healthcare, especially in patient units?  Oh, but they do. In my experience working with healthcare, both as a police officer working in a big city and with Renee as she works to address workplace bullying, incivility, and
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August 7, 20184

How to Cultivate a Healthy Workforce According to Mr. Rogers

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As leaders, it sometimes feels like we are caught between a rock and a hard place – you can’t please your administrators and your employees never think you do enough for them. To make matters worse, many leaders spend way too much of their time dealing with the
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nurse triangulation
July 31, 20187

How Bullies Use Triangulation as a Weapon in the Workplace

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The way nurses treat each other runs the spectrum between supportive and nurturing to bullying and uncivil. Often, this “treatment” shows up in the way we communicate. When nurses are direct, honest and respectful (assertive communication style), they build relationships with each other and patients ultimately receive better
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July 24, 20185

The Sneaky Ways Envy Shows Up As Bullying and Incivility in the Workplace

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If you peel back the layers of disruptive behaviors whether it’s bullying, incivility, or workplace violence, you may find an underlying thread of envy felt by the bully, which then gets directed towards the target.  Sometimes this envy isn’t acknowledged or realized by either party, but make no
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July 17, 20184

Bullying From the Eyes of the Bully

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Bullying is an ongoing, escalating pattern of aggressive behavior directed toward a person or group of people, which is based on or leads to an imbalance of power, with an underlying intent to harm. Among nurses, bullying occurs in a wide range of settings, including academia, acute care
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July 10, 20187

5 Ways to Protect Yourself From the Workplace Cliques

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Nurse bullies may not necessarily clearly present themselves on a platter like your Thanksgiving turkey. Sometimes bullying behaviors, incivility, and even borderline criminal behaviors are disguised and hidden within cliques and gangs. Tarah was just finishing her undergraduate degree in nursing. The last thing she had to do
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July 3, 20183

Bully Behavior or a Bad Moment?

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I was traveling from the west coast home to Pittsburgh via Washington Dulles on a Friday night. My flight from Dulles to Pittsburgh got canceled. Because I had to work at the hospital the next day from 11 am – 7 pm, I rented a car and drove
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June 26, 20182

4 Easy Ways for Passionate Nurses to Beat Burnout

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One of the best compliments I received came from a nurse a few weeks ago.  It was during nurses’ week, when she heard my keynote, “Celebrate Nursing: Human by Birth – Hero by Choice.” She told me that she had been feeling burned out in her role as
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June 19, 20183

WARNING WARNING! 2 Patient Factors Indicating Pending Violence

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A new patient care associate (PCA) from an agency is assigned to work the evening shift in a skilled nursing care facility. The PCA is unfamiliar with the facility, as well as the patients, and has just met the nursing employee for the first time in hand-off report.
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June 12, 20187

5 Ways to Catch a Professional Covert Bully

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Robin is a legend. Not because of how great she is. Robin is a legend because of how HORRIFIC she is! Robin is a bully and everyone knows it. Her stories are legendary and are told by her targets around the modern day campfires – Starbucks and wine
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June 5, 20182

How to Improve Nurse Retention by Building a Business Case to Address Bullying and Incivility

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Nurse retention is top of mind for every nurse executive due to the ever-growing turnover rate. More and more, healthcare organizations are feeling the sting of turnover in numerous ways. The first sting is obvious – costs. According to the 2016 National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, the
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May 29, 20187

5 Steps to Go From a Shut Up to a Speak Up Culture in Healthcare

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It’s time to get serious about creating a speak up culture in healthcare. Here’s why. Over the last 8 years, I’ve talked with thousands of nurses, physicians, and support staff about disruptive behaviors in healthcare settings. These people shared examples of minor rudeness and inconsideration as well as major,
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May 21, 20182

A Multi-Level Approach to Prevention of Violence Against Nurses

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Did you know that from 2002 to 2013, incidents of serious workplace violence were approximately four times more common in healthcare than in private industry? In 2013, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychiatric aides experienced the highest rate of violent injuries. A 2014 survey conducted
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4 Steps to Building a Cohesive Healthcare Team Despite Your Selfish Brain
May 15, 20182

4 Steps to Building a Cohesive Healthcare Team Despite Your Selfish Brain

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If you’ve been in the medical field for long you know just how important a cohesive team can be. It can make the difference between making it or breaking it in the healthcare industry and for good reason. Our patients depend on us to work well together. However,
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May 8, 20182

Fall Back In Love With Nursing + a FREE Gift (or two)!

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As I’m sure you’re aware, this week is Nurses Week. And do you know what I love most about Nurses Week? Reflecting on my nursing career and making a conscious effort to be better when this week rolls around the following year. One of the many ways to
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5 Ways Coffee Can Inspire a Cohesive Team
May 1, 20182

5 Ways Coffee Can Inspire a Cohesive Team

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I’ve been drinking black coffee since I was 3 years old – it’s an Italian thing. I come from a long line of expert coffee drinkers and because I drink it black, I can tell good coffee from bad coffee. I can remember sitting in the kitchen as a
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How Performance Reviews Can Eliminate Workplace Bullying
April 24, 20183

How Performance Reviews Can Eliminate Workplace Bullying

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Do performance reviews come to mind when you think about the workplace bullying epidemic we have in healthcare? Of course not, but they should! I’ve talked with thousands of nurse leaders over the years about their attempts to set behavioral expectations and hold their employees accountable. At least
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How to create a culture of caring for float staff
April 17, 20182

Create a Culture of Caring for Float Staff

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A culture of caring is CRUCIAL in healthcare. Especially when it comes to caring for float staff. One of the worst experiences nurses have is when they THINK they are working on their home unit only to find out they’ve been pulled to another unit. Ugh. We all
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10 Things Every Employee Should Know About Their Leaders
April 10, 20182

10 Things Every Employee Should Know About Their Leaders

4 comments
I recently wrote an article about the 10 things leaders needed to know about their employees. This article generated a lot of conversation on social media, which in my opinion, is because of the wide disconnect between employees and their leadership team. Many employees blame their leaders for
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Addressing the Escalation of Violence in Healthcare
April 3, 20182

Addressing the Escalation of Violence in Healthcare

3 comments
Violence in healthcare is an issue that The Healthy Workforce Institute takes seriously. Our mission is to create healthy workforce’s within healthcare organizations by eliminating bullying and incivility and creating cultures of professionalism, caring, and respectful communication. We focus on the PEOPLE within an organization because it’s the PEOPLE who
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Transform Healthcare by Turning Nurses Into Wolf Packs
March 27, 20182

Transform Healthcare by Turning Nurses Into Wolf Packs

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You’re probably asking yourself what how wolf packs could transform healthcare. I understand your confusion, but just stay tuned. I recently spoke with a newer nurse who was struggling with the reality versus the fantasy of being a nurse. She envisioned nursing as a career where she could
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5 Ways to Create a Speak Up Culture in Healthcare
March 20, 20185

5 Ways to Create a Speak Up Culture in Healthcare

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It’s important to create a “speak up” culture where staff members feel comfortable going to management when delicate problems arise. This is especially true in healthcare, where one persons decisions have the potential to affect hundreds of others. The following story is a perfect example. Danida would voluntarily
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How to Avoid Hiring a Bully in Your Hospital
March 13, 20187

How to Avoid Hiring a Bully in Your Hospital

6 comments
We all want to do a great job as a leader, and that means not hiring a bully. Have you ever interviewed someone whom you thought was a perfect fit for your unit? Perhaps she was a nurse who had experience, was already certified, educated, and was professionally
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10 Things Leaders Need to Know About Their Employees
March 6, 20182

10 Things Leaders Need to Know About Their Employees

3 comments
A disconnect exists between employees and management. I see it in every organization and in every department or unit. Although some departments are more collaborative (think shared governance), others have constructed a divide so wide between employees and leaders that it makes the Grand Canyon look like a
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Tackling Workplace Bullying_ Q&A Will Show the Way!
February 27, 20185

Tackling Workplace Bullying: Q&A Will Show the Way!

1 comment
Over the years, I’ve been interviewed hundreds of times by numerous people who want to help their readers (mostly nurses) learn more about how to stop workplace bullying. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that addressing disruptive behavior is important to you too! With this in mind I’d
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You Fired Your Bully - Do You Tell Your Staff_
February 20, 20182

You Fired Your Bully. Do You Tell Your Staff?

5 comments
Have you ever fired a bully? Did you wonder how to tell your staff or if you even should? Let’s say you’re a manager in an ICU and just fired one of your older, experienced nurses because of continued disruptive behavior. You can almost see and feel the
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7 Action Steps to Take if You Witness Bullying
February 13, 20186

7 Actions to Take if You Witness Workplace Bullying

9 comments
Have you ever wondered what you should do if you witness bullying? Many of us have witnessed bullying and/or incivility against others but have kept silent. Sometimes, we’re just thankful the bully’s focus is on somebody else and not us! Other times, we are caught off guard or
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10 Books Every Nurse Leader Must Read
February 6, 20183

10 Books Every Nurse Leader Must Read

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I have yet to encounter a respected leader who embodied all the principles of authentic leadership on their first day in a leadership role. However, there are certainly people who seem to have a knack for it while others clearly do not. What I know to be true
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Harrasment, #MeToo & Bullying_ Gaining Clarity (1)
January 30, 20182

Harassment, #MeToo, and Bullying: Gaining Clarity

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Have you noticed the uptick in the number of women who are coming forward with stories of sexual harassment? Hollywood actresses banded together showing their support and solidarity by dressing in black at the Golden Globes, every news channel, publication, and social media platform are writing stories about
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HOW TO REVAMP THE NIGHTINGALE PLEDGE FOR TODAY'S NURSE
January 23, 20183

How to Revamp the Nightingale Pledge for Today’s Nurse

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Did you know that the Nightingale pledge is actually a modified version of the Hippocratic Oath?  While the Hippocratic Oath was written in the 5th century, it wasn’t until many years later in 1893 that nurses decided to create their own version. However, Florence Nightingale didn’t actually write
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How to Tell Your Best Nurse She is Toxic
January 16, 20182

How to Tell Your “Best” Nurse She is Toxic

2 comments
Have you ever worked with a nurse who was so brilliant, had a remarkable mind, and knew everything there was to know about saving lives, but who was a toxic force in your department? I have too.  If I’ve heard this once, I’ve heard it a thousand times,
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How to Establish Peer-to-Peer Accountability
January 9, 20182

How to Establish Peer-to-Peer Accountability

6 comments
“Accountability breeds responsibility” – Stephen Covey When I was a manager, I knew it was going to be a rough day anytime I walked onto my unit and there was a line of employees by my door waiting for my arrival. Ugh. Many times, it was an employee
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January 2, 20182

4 Step Action Plan: How to Deal with Difficult Patients & Families

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When you entered nursing school you were probably warned that you’d have a few difficult patients. Maybe you even went as far as to mentally prepare yourself for the day you’d save someone’s life and they’d scream and yell at you for something trivial. However, there is something
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The Gifted Nurse - Optimism
December 26, 20172

The Gifted Nurse: Optimism

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We’ve reached the fourth and final part of The Gifted Nurse series and today we’re talking all about optimism! Humans are born either more positive or more negative – it’s genetic. You can be born more positive but when you enter into a negative work environment, you can
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The Gifted Nurse - Compassion
December 19, 20172

The Gifted Nurse: Compassion

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Compassion in nursing is so much more than being nice to patients. Compassion is about connecting with human beings on a level deeper than just “the GI bleeder in room 14 bed 2”. When nurses extend compassion, they provide the patient a sense of security. A feeling that
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The Gifted Nurse_ Continuous Learning
December 12, 20172

The Gifted Nurse: Continuous Learning

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Continuous learning creates successful people and successful people are fascinating. What makes someone who started with nothing become a world famous celebrity, activist, philanthropist, etc. while someone else born into riches becomes a drug addict, criminal, or toxic, unhappy human? Is it luck, circumstance, or something else? Many
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The Gifted Nurse_ Perseverance
December 5, 20173

The Gifted Nurse: Perseverance

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For the month of December, I’m taking a bit of a diversion from my typical articles about creating professional, supportive, and nurturing work environments by eradicating workplace bullying and incivility. Instead, I thought it would be nice to focus on the gifts bestowed by successful nurses. In my
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Surprising insights about gossip in the workplace and how to stop it
November 28, 20173

Surprising Insights About Gossip in the Workplace and How to Stop It

4 comments
We’ve all experienced gossip in the workplace in one way or another, so what can we do to stop it? Well, more than you might think. Say you’re at a meeting, sitting in the back of the room because you got there late.  One of the other managers,
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November 14, 20172

How Perceived Power Can Lead to Bullying Behavior

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Can perceived power lead to bullying behavior? I travel a lot on airplanes and am loyal to one particular airline carrier. I’m loyal for a few reasons: They take care of me if my flight gets delayed or cancelled (even if it means putting me on a different
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How to Keep Toxic Co-Workers from Poisoning Your Career
November 7, 20172

How to Keep Toxic Co-Workers from Poisoning Your Career

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I think we can all agree that toxic co-workers lead to a toxic work environment. But what do we do about it? While we can’t control other people’s actions, there are several techniques you can use to keep yourself from losing it while maintaining your work productivity. The
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November 1, 20172

The Trifecta Approach to Eradicating Bullying & Incivility

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Eradicating bullying and incivility can no longer be left up to chance. What do you do if you’re a healthcare executive and your recent employee engagement data indicates that you have a significant bullying and incivility problem? Do you sigh and say, “Well. That’s just the way it’s
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Want to Change Bullying Behavior- Learn Your ABC's
October 24, 20172

Want to Change Bullying Behavior? Learn Your ABC’s

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Maintaining a positive presence can make a huge impact on your nursing career. Yoder-Wise’s article, “The Essence of Presence and How It Enhances a Leader’s Value” describes  three vital components to a positive presence, which can transform negative, bullying behavior into positive, uplifting nursing teams. The ABC’s –
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Got Bullies- Get Rid of Them the Southwest Airlines Way!
October 17, 20174

Get Rid of Bullies the Southwest Airlines Way!

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You’re probably wondering what bullies have to do with Southwest Airline right about now. Let me elaborate.  I travel 45 out of 52 weeks in a year, which means I spend A LOT of time in airports.  Very often when a flight is almost ready to leave, I’ll
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3 Ways To Stand Up to Workplace Bullying
October 10, 20172

3 Ways To Stand Up to Workplace Bullying: A Witness Doesn’t Have to be a Bystander

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Workplace bullying isn’t something that happens from time to time in terrible organizations filled with awful staff; it’s something that happens in all kinds of organizations with all types of people. Yes, this means even the facility with the highest patient safety ratings filled with friendly and dedicated
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October 3, 20173

What If The Bully Is You?

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In all of our talks about bullying have you ever thought the bully may be you? A few years ago I was doing a workshop for nurse leaders on the topic of bullying and incivility. About halfway through, a woman in the back of the room stood up
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September 25, 20173

Connect, Share & Raise Awareness During National Bullying Prevention Month!

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During the month of October, the world comes together to raise awareness for bullying prevention and to reflect on where we have been, where we are now, and where we hope to be in the years to come. This year’s National Bullying Prevention Month marks the 11th anniversary
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5 Ways to Stop an Ill-Equipped Leader, Tough Manager, or Bully Boss
September 18, 20172

5 Ways to Stop an Ill-Equipped Leader, Tough Manager, or Bully Boss

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The role of the leader, or boss, is becoming more and more important in today’s complex world. We now have multiple generations working alongside each other, increasing reliance on technology, requiring additional learning, diminishing resources and organizational perks, and an increase in stress, burnout, and employees behaving badly.
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4 Strategies to Battle Leadership Burnout
September 11, 20172

4 Strategies to Battle Leader Burnout

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Are you a leader dealing with burnout? Many years ago, I was the manager on a large medical unit and quickly realized that the majority of my employees were toxic. Seriously, they couldn’t keep managers for more than a year. Every day employees would rush into my office
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Is Rudeness Really on the Rise-
September 4, 20172

Is Rudeness Really on the Rise?

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It’s no secret that rudeness takes center stage in a lot of of conversational arenas these days, but is it really on the rise or is it just something new to complain about? We don’t have to look very far to get the answer.  When my daughters were young,
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August 28, 20172

6 Ways Communication Can Build a Healthy Workplace

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  Creating a healthy work environment is a hot topic for leaders today.  More than just the right thing to do for employees and the patients they serve, studies show that creating a healthy work environment increases retention, saves organizations money, and protects patients’ lives.     Trust
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August 21, 20175

Military Method To Transform Your Healthcare Team

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  If I walked into your unit right now and asked every employee what the mission of your unit was, I would probably get a dozen different answers. For some nurses, their goal might be to get everything done on their task list. For others, it might be to
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August 14, 20172

Why Trust Is a Must For Nurse Leaders

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  Have you given much thought to the role that trust plays in nursing lately? The public has ranked registered nurses as the most trustworthy people on the planet for years now, and for good reason. We were the one holding their uncle’s hand when he found out
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August 7, 20172

Bullying & the 3 P’s

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Let’s face it; bullying is awful. Nobody likes to be yelled at, made to feel incompetent, or treated with disrespect in the work place. However, the healthcare environment can be extremely stressful and unpredictable, requiring quick action, which can sometimes lead to folks coming across as either snarky
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July 31, 20172

7 Traits of Super Star Nurses

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I was recently asked to make a recommendation for a client, and the CNO sent me a message which said “hopefully you’ll find us a superstar!” This got me thinking – what is it that makes someone a superstar employee? Every company has its superstar employees who seem
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July 24, 20172

How Bullies Use Exclusion In The Workplace & What You Can Do About It

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No one likes to feel excluded – especially at work – but exclusion plays a bigger role than we may think in the workplace. Pot Luck Sundays were the highlight of everyone’s week. After all, who doesn’t love food! The medical surgical GI unit instituted Pot Luck Sundays
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July 17, 20172

15 Building Blocks for Successful Nursing Practice

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I’ve never thought of myself as a coach (even though I used to offer career coaching as a service). However, when I think about it, I’ve been “coaching” for decades. And so have you. As nurses, we coach our patients to be more compliant with their treatments. As
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July 10, 20172

Creating Sacred Spaces In Healthcare

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We are hearing more and more about disruptive behaviors in healthcare and how they impact the work environment, retention, AND patients. I’ve surveyed thousands of nurses over the years about the types of disruptive behaviors they’ve either experienced or witnessed in the workplace.  These behaviors range from eye
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July 3, 20175

10 Practical Ways to Spread Positivity in the Workplace

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Are you working in a negative environment and want to be the one to step up or just want to spread a little positivity but you’re not sure where to start? Let me help. A recent study found that a positive work environment is the most important factor
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June 26, 20173

Rolling Out The Red Carpet For Your Float Nurses

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Today I’d like to tell you why and how you should be rolling out the red carpet for your float nurses. Four years ago I went back to the bedside. It had been 8 years since I independently cared for patients, so I was a nervous wreck! The
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5 Life Lessons Every Nurse Can Learn From John Wooden
June 19, 20172

5 Life Lessons Every Nurse Can Learn From John Wooden

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John Wooden was arguably the most successful, probably the most influential, and certainly the most studied coach in the history of US sports. His UCLA basketball teams won 11 national championships over a 13 year span. But, his influence is more than a matter of wins and losses.
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June 12, 20174

Mother Bear Is Here! The Art of Protecting New Nurses

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The bond between a mother bear and her cub is very strong. Mother bears are the quintessential role models for loving and protecting offspring. When a mother bear detects a threat to her cubs, what does she do? She gets “bat sh** crazy” on them! A mother bear will
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June 5, 20172

We’re All In This Together: Superstar Team Building Tips

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Team building is crucial in any business, but I believe it’s especially important in nursing! Why is that? When nurses function as a team, it’s easier to complete all of the gazillion tasks required to care for today’s complex patients. Working together to admit and discharge patients, manage
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May 30, 20172

Bridging the Gap Between Millennial Nurses and Boomers

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Millennials and boomers; they’re different, right? Right. However, different isn’t always a bad thing! Especially in nursing where we can use our differences to better treat our patients. Let me explain. Almost every time I get together with a group of nurses on a unit to talk about incivility,
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May 22, 20172

3 Traits of Leaders That Create a Culture of Speaking Up

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What is your greatest wish as an employee? As you ponder that question it’s likely that everything from being respected and treated fairly to being paid well and being valued has crossed your mind, which are all excellent things to strive for in a workplace! So, what do all
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May 15, 20172

Bullying & Burnout: The Leadership Challenges of the 21st Century

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Bullying and burnout are huge problems for healthcare leaders in the 21st century and it’s time we started talking about them! Gretchen was excited when she accepted a leadership position at a prominent hospital in her hometown. She had worked at a local community hospital for the last
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May 8, 20173

5 Qualities Nurse Heroes Possess

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Every year during May, nurses around the globe celebrate the wonderful world of nursing. It’s a time for us to reflect on the progress we’ve made over the years and also a time to recognize the amazing nurses who seem to rise above the rest. I call them
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May 2, 20172

10 Tips To Create a Successful Nursing Career

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Every year in May we celebrate nurses during Nurses Week.  This celebration lasts a week or so and typically ends on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12th. During this time, we recognize the sacrifice nurses make to keep patient’s safe, honor extraordinary acts of heroism, and reflect on what
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April 25, 20173

5 Ways To Build Moral Resilience

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Moral resilience is so important in nursing. I’d like to say I’ve always made decisions based on what was best for patients or morally right, but I’m not sure I have. Likewise, I’d like to think I’ve always treated  my co-workers with the utmost respect – but have
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April 18, 20172

How To Partner With HR To Prevent Workplace Bullying

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It’s crucial for human resources and management staff to work together to protect their organization against workplace bullying! Here’s why. A nurse manager has been dealing with high turnover and poor retention because of one toxic person. This person, otherwise known as the queen bully, has been wrecking
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April 11, 20172

Why Being a Follower Isn’t as Bad as You Think

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I think it’s safe to say that most of us have the tendency to attach the word follower to a negative connotation, but this is an ill-advised outlook in every arena, especially the business arena. And since healthcare is technically a BUSINESS, it applies here too. From small,
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April 3, 20172

Nurse Bullying: What To Do When The Bullies Are The Support Staff

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As a new grad, Stacie was prepared to face nurse bullying by the older, senior nurses. She learned about it in school, experienced it as a student during her clinical rotations, and even did her own search on the web to help “bully-proof” herself. She was prepared and
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March 27, 20172

Managing Different Generations? Here’s The Secret To Success!

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Imagine an employee who brings enthusiasm and energy, shares fresh ideas and new approaches, displays wisdom that typically comes with years of experience, demonstrates unflagging loyalty to the organization and refuses to take “no” for an answer when pitching a breakthrough idea. Realistically, the chance of finding all
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March 16, 20172

Why You Should Be Certified & 3 Steps to Build a Culture of Certification

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I’ve been preparing nurses to pass nursing certifications exams for more than eight years now. Teaching these prep courses are some of my favorite courses to teach. However, throughout my years, I’ve heard grumbling from nurses who don’t see the value of certification. They just think certification is
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Turn Stress Into Finesse With a Positive Mindset
March 15, 20172

Turn Stress Into Finesse With The Right Mindset

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The whole “stress-is-debilitating” mindset is definitely a self-fulfilling prophecy: stress reduces performance and adversely impacts health. However, individuals who have a different mindset and choose to view stress as enhancing rather than debilitating, find that stress INCREASES their performance and even improves their health. How do you Respond
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March 6, 20172

Is High Stress to Blame for Nurse Bullying Behavior?

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Have you ever worked with a coworker who is super nice and easy to work with as long as everything is quiet but immediately turns into Mr. Hyde when things get hectic? Shanice is typically friendly and a good team player. She’s been a nurse for just under
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February 27, 20173

4 Truths About Nurse Heroes

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When the public refers to nurses as heroes, many of us don’t believe them. Heroes, after all, are those who are saving lives, who are running INTO a burning building while other people are running OUT.  Heroes fight wars and keep us safe on the streets. Though these
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February 21, 20172

Want To Prevent A Bullying Culture? Connect First, Then Lead

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I’m considered a healthcare workplace-bullying expert and over the years, I’ve learned an important aspect of bullying. If an organization has a bullying problem – they have a leadership problem. Sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. With skilled leaders who know how to set behavioral expectations, hold their
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Start a Kindness Revolution
February 13, 20172

Start A Kindness Revolution

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The week of Valentine’s Day can be more than writing love notes to your significant other, going on a special date, or baking heart-shaped cookies for your child’s classroom. It’s a perfect reminder to add kindness & compassion to each day. Why not make time to do something
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Stop Workplace Bullying Make Policy Your Friend
February 6, 20172

Stop Workplace Bullying: Make Policy Your Friend

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I wake up every morning and typically find at least one message about workplace bullying in my email, Facebook messenger, or website contact form that is very similar to this one (note: some details were changed to protect the individual): “I am a student nurse but have now
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February 5, 20172

WHY THIS MOM LOVES AND ADVOCATES FOR NURSES

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I met Darling at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (NCH) where she (Northwestern Mutual) sponsored an event for nurses, which enabled them to bring me in to speak. Darling is NOT a nurse but is one of our biggest fans! Every year she advocates bringing educational programming to the nurses
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6 Things Savvy Nurse Leaders Do Differently
January 30, 20172

6 Things Savvy Nurse Leaders Do Differently

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Becoming an effective leader is a goal that many people strive for. An effective leader helps their organization become more successful because of their effective leadership skills. Take a look at some of the most successful nurse leaders you can think of. What do you notice about their
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January 23, 20172

Coffee & Conversations About Nurse Bullying

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Nurse-to-nurse bullying is a huge problem. Almost every day of my life a nurse reaches out to me asking for help. I receive messages on Facebook, via LinkedIn, through email, text, and phone messages. These nurses are suffering at the hands of the people who are supposed to support
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Networking
January 16, 20172

5 Steps To Stop Networking & Start Connecting

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It’s common knowledge that networking is key to career success, but if you’ve never done it before, it can be intimidating. Rather than bringing up visions of business cards being pitched about, consider this….Networking is all about building relationships. It’s about a back and forth, constant communication with