Student Experiences With Incivility in Clinical Nursing Education

Yastik, Joanne, and Maureen Anthony

“Nurses eat their young” is a term familiar to most nurses. It is a commonly discussed topic as well as written about in the nursing literature. Despite anecdotal evidence of incivility toward student nurses, there is little empirical evidence of this phenomenon. Incivility towards student nurses in the clinical setting can diminish student self-confidence, interfere with the learning process, and affect the student‟s desire to remain in nursing (Randle, 2003). Equally disturbing is that incivility between nurses and nursing students in health care settings can negatively influence patient outcomes through reduced transfer of information, loss of concentration, and reduced communication.

The purpose of this qualitative study is to explore student nurses experiences of incivility in clinical nursing education. Focus group methodology was used. Participants were recruited using purposive sampling of second degree option and traditional junior and senior undergraduate nursing students in the McAuley School of Nursing who have experienced incivility in their clinical practicum experiences. Data is currently being analyzed for themes.

It is imperative that the uncivil treatment of student nurses by staff nurses in the clinical setting be understood. Incivility toward students can affect student retention at the time when a significant nurse shortage exists and is projected to worsen.