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Scholarly Project




Horizontal violence is known by a variety of terms such as lateral violence, bullying, and incivility. Christie and Jones (2014) describe lateral violence as a problem in nursing where a behavior is demonstrated through harmful actions that occur between nurses. Studies have revealed how horizontal violence affects nurse retention. Horizontal violence is a relevant issue in the healthcare community, yet often goes undiscussed. Walrafen (2012) explains that an outcome of horizontal violence in nursing is directly proportional to a decrease in retention of nurses. Sherman (2012) proclaimed that nurses who are subjected to horizontal violence have low self-esteem, depression, excessive sick leave, and poor morale. As Wilson (2011) identified nurses, who witness or experience horizontal violence have an increased desire to leave the organization where the bullying takes place.

Horizontal violence is a pervasive source of occupational stress with physical, psychological, and organizational consequences (Hauge, et al, 2010). Roy (2007) describes this as an unkind, discourteous manner in which nurses relate to their colleagues. As nurses seek to perform their daily tasks, other co-workers may embarrass them for their lack of knowledge, tease them as they participate in informal cliques, or demean them for their technique (Bakker, 2012). Creating excuses, taunting, and refusing to share information, nursing education or knowledge are examples of horizontal violence (Ball, 1996).

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Nursing Commons