Bullying in undergraduate clinical nursing education

J Nurs Educ. 2012 May;51(5):269-76. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20120409-01. Epub 2012 Apr 9.


Although a limited number of studies have focused on bullying in nursing education to date, all of those studies demonstrate the existence of bullying in clinical settings, where nursing students undertake a significant amount of their nursing education. The purpose of this study was to examine the state of bullying in clinical nursing education among Canadian undergraduate nursing students (N = 674) in all 4 years of their nursing program. Results suggest that nursing students experience and witness bullying behaviors at various frequencies, most notably by clinical instructors and staff nurses. Third-year and fourth-year students experience more bullying behaviors than first-year and second-year students. Implications for practice include ensuring that clinical instructors are well prepared for their role as educators. Policies must be developed that address the issue of bullying within nursing programs and within health care facilities where nursing students undertake their clinical nursing education.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bullying*
  • Canada
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Staff
  • Preceptorship*
  • Prejudice
  • Students, Nursing*
  • Young Adult