Nurse Bullies are Like Groups of Cats

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Nurse+bullyNurse bullying is a HUGE problem. Every day of my life a nurse emails or contacts me through my website asking for help to deal with a bullying situation. 60% of new nurses quit their first job within the first 6 months due to the bad behavior of their co-workers. 

Because when new nurses start working in toxic environments, they are automatically on trial. Just like during an intense interrogation on the witness stand, new nurses find themselves found guilty (of what…I have no idea) before they even try.
The good news is that when new nurses start working in a mentoring culture, they’re not put on trial, they don’t quit their first job, and they actually grow as professionals!
In a mentoring culture, new nurses are supported. They are given easy assignments at first until they master them, and then, gradually they are given the tougher patients. No question is a stupid question and the nurses go out of their way to reinforce, nurture, and help grow the new nurses.
In a bullying culture, they are thrown into the deep water as others stand on the shore and watch them drown. They are given the toughest assignments to see if they can “handle” it.  Nurses say things like, “Didn’t you learn that in nursing school?” As they roll their eyes.
We see the same difference between dogs and cats.
What you have to ask yourself is – Which one are YOU? What types of nurses do YOU work with? Are they dog-like or cat-like?
Starting today (or tomorrow) I want you to start treating your coworkers like dogs.
·      Be supportive and patient.
·      Show encouragement and empathy. After all, remember what is was like being new and “on trial.”
·      Protect new nurses from the nurse bullies.
We HAVE to stop using silence regarding nurse bullying. It’s not working and we are hemorrhaging really good nurses. Before you know it, all we will be left with are cats!
Thanks so much for reading. I’d love to read your comments about this topic.
Take care and stay connected







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2 thoughts on “Nurse Bullies are Like Groups of Cats”

  1. Why are nurses so mean to each other? Does this happen in other professions or is it mostly in nursing specifically? You would think nurses would be nicer than average, not meaner!

  2. Thanks for your comments Abby. I speak and write a lot about why nurses are so kind to their patients yet horrific to each other!! My most viewed blog post was titled, "The #1 Sin Causing Nurse Bullying". It's about female jealousy. Women have always been mean to other women for many reasons. So sad!! We need to start celebrating other women's accomplishments and going out of our way to support each other! I believe the key strategies to stop the cycle of bullying is for each one of us to be a role model for professional behavior and to immediately address unprofessional behavior when we see it. We can no longer afford to use silence as a strategy!

    Kind regards

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