Association of the nurse work environment with nurse incivility in hospitals

J Nurs Manag. 2018 Mar;26(2):219-226. doi: 10.1111/jonm.12537. Epub 2017 Oct 9.


Aim: To determine whether nurse coworker incivility is associated with the nurse work environment, defined as organisational characteristics that promote nurse autonomy.

Background: Workplace incivility can negatively affect nurses, hospitals and patients. Plentiful evidence documents that nurses working in better nurse work environments have improved job and health outcomes. There is minimal knowledge about how nurse coworker incivility relates to the United States nurse work environment.

Methods: Quantitative, cross-sectional. Data were collected through online surveys of registered nurses in a southwestern United States health system. The survey content included the National Quality Forum-endorsed Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index and the Workplace Incivility Scale. Data analyses were descriptive and correlational.

Results: Mean levels of incivility were low in this sample of 233 staff nurses. Incivility occurred 'sporadically' (mean = 0.58; range 0.00-5.29). The nurse work environment was rated highly (mean = 3.10; range of 1.00-4.00). The nurse work environment was significantly inversely associated with coworker incivility. The nurse manager qualities were the principal factor of the nurse work environment associated with incivility.

Conclusions: Supportive nurse managers reduce coworker incivility.

Implications for nursing management: Nurse managers can shape nurse work environments to prevent nurse incivility.

Keywords: hospital; nurse leadership; registered nurse; work environment; workplace incivility.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hospitals / standards
  • Humans
  • Incivility*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurses / psychology
  • Nurses / standards*
  • Organizational Culture
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workplace / psychology
  • Workplace / standards*