Incivility in the Nursing Profession

Topic: Nursing
Words: 1214 Pages: 4

Definition and Explanation of Incivility

Incivility is any disrespectful or disruptive action directed at another nurse or co-worker. Uncivil acts in the workplace are an issue in nursing because they can make people feel humiliated, alienated, and uncomfortable. Such unpleasant emotions decrease attention to detail, putting them in danger of making medical mistakes. Incivility is categorized as impolite, cruel, and disrespectful behavior that may or may not be violent but can negatively impact nurses’ mental well-being, productivity, and patient care. Nursing rudeness is an issue for the profession, as it obstructs the development of workplace safety, putting patient health at risk. According to Evans (2017), nurses are more likely than any other clinical area profession to engage in uncivil behavior. Whether verbal or physical, aggression is never appropriate, whether from patients or co-workers. These events significantly impact the nurse’s health and ability to provide care to their patients.

The Impacts of Incivility

Importance of Incivility in Nursing

Nurse-to-nurse aggression or incivility causes significant work pressure physical, emotional, and institutional consequences. Incivility in the workplace has long-term implications for a company. According to Alshehry et al. (2019), workplace incivility commonly goes unnoticed and is misunderstood by the organization’s executives. It has been proven that disrespect harms medical practices and care delivery. Nurses’ interactions, work productivity, and patient safety are jeopardized by incivility. The Joint Commission considers incivility a safety hazard and has developed a standard for intimidating and disruptive workplace behaviors (Taşkaya & Aksoy, 2021). Rising medical mistakes, low patient satisfaction, worse results, higher costs, and the loss of trained professionals are all concerns of the Joint Commission.

Impacts of Incivility on Individuals

Nurses’ bonds and work performance suffer due to incivility, as does patient safety. According to Sherrod & Lewallen (2021), disrespect is far more pervasive than perceived and has severe consequences in care settings. When a patient witnesses nurse incivility, their attitude of caring is lowered. To ensure a safe workplace, each nurse has the authority to create compassionate interactions. It reduces self-esteem by weakening the mental defenses of the affected individuals. A rise in anxiety occurs when one feels vulnerable, leading to hate and rage. It further causes emotions of failure, alienation, and loss in our relationships. The incivility behavior leads to fatigue in the body, mind, and soul by increasing pressures, affecting and weakening immune function (Sherrod & Lewallen, 2021). Due to the effects on an individual’s health, the consequences can result in depression and anxiety. In addition, incivility pollutes the workplace by reducing employee morale, organizational trust, and job satisfaction.

Incivility’s Effect on Microsystem Work Environments

A medical microsystem is a minor, interconnected group of people collaborating daily to offer care to specific patient populations. As this group of physicians and personnel working together is required to render care to a patient population with the same therapeutic goal, incivility becomes a barrier. Incivility can impact the microsystem business environment by preventing nurses from communicating with one another or physicians. Patient care can be negatively affected due to a breakdown in communication (Evans, 2017). According to Green (2021), incivility has negative consequences for patient care, such as higher medical errors, lower quality of care, and unfavorable patient outcomes. Hostility in the workplace causes stress, making it difficult for nurses to execute tasks properly, resulting in incorrect diagnoses. As a result, the patient receives the wrong treatment, resulting in a slow recovery.

Scenario of Incivility

A nurse sits with Mary, James, Anne, and a few other co-workers, sharing tales of the day. Mary, begins to gossip and criticize another one of their colleagues (Jane). The other nurses are undecided about whether to join in or leave. Jane arrives when the talk in the midst of the conversation and overhears the chatter about her. This results in a significant confrontation between Jane and Mary, which affects their mood balance, putting their emotional well-being at risk. On a personal level, workplace bullying can reduce employee engagement and impede job performance. It further lowers and removes employee work satisfaction and loyalty to the company and increases turnover rates.

Incivility at work impedes professional nursing practices and lowers patient outcomes and the nurses’ welfare. The evaluation of individual habits connected to the outcomes impacts work. Nurses with minimal career ambitions, on the other hand, have reduced motivation, which leads to lower expectations and tenacity and, as a result, lesser contributions to the organization. Workplace incivility is exceptionally harmful to businesses because it leads employees to perform poorly and encourages them to leave. Woo and Kim (2020) describe job performance as the value of an employee’s work that an organization requires. Nurses’ job effectiveness in healthcare environments is linked to improved health outcomes and behavior practices, affecting patient happiness and life quality. However, several techniques must be taken to promote a productive environment.

Strategies for Creating a Healthful Environment

A courteous workplace promotes job satisfaction, sentiments of fairness, and a generally positive atmosphere. Different techniques have been created to prevent incivility by fostering calm surroundings. Completing tasks, gaining knowledge and competence, and communicating effectively are essential strategies to use. Based on research on nurses, wholly and correctly accomplishing duties is one essential technique in reducing hostility since, in most cases, incivility stems from a failure to carry out one’s duties (Sherrod & Lewallen 2021). Nursing responsibilities are significant and delicate as they necessitate excellent skills, expertise, and abilities. Woo and Kim (2020) discovered that enhancing nursing skills is essential in preventing incivility. Lack of adequate communication with others, particularly with clients and their attendants, was cited by nurses as one of the significant factors contributing to incivility (Sherrod & Lewallen, 2021). They discussed their personal experiences with effective communication and, as a result, the prevention of incivility.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Specialty Track

Family nursing involves the evaluation of family members’ overall health and safety. In addition, it encompasses the family’s capability to provide support and care for the patient or group of patients and where suitable. Understanding an individual’s triggers and acting in ways that match clear communication and politeness are two methods to sustain civility. Understanding one’s triggers can help them monitor and regulate reactions by allowing them to control their response, which is especially useful if the patient is stubborn (Woo & Kim, 2020). The caregiver must reflect before speaking or responding during a conversation. FNPs should consider the impact of their words and actions on others. The patient’s health will be aided if the tone is controlled and positive communication is provided.


Incivility is defined as actions of disrespectful behavior by healthcare employees in various institutions. Nurses must demonstrate professional behavior by working together to offer safe patient care. Uncivil behavior affects patient outcomes, workplace culture, and nursing. Health care, clinical practices, and facilities are all negatively impacted by disruptive behavior. Improving the working environment for nurses may inspire more students to choose a career in nursing. Dealing with incivility in the nursing profession will enhance a positive working atmosphere, which will increase the quality of care. It is vital to create a work-favourable environment and provide humane care for their development. As a Family Nurse Practitioner, one can improve the practice environment by nurturing task completion, excellent communication, and trigger management, based on the insights learned in this study of incivility.


Alshehry, A. S., Alquwez, N., Almazan, J., Namis, I. M., & Cruz, J. P. (2019). Influence of workplace incivility on the quality of Nursing Care. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 28(23-24), 4582-4594. Web.

Eka, N. G. A., & Chambers, D. (2019). Incivility in nursing education: A systematic literature review. Nurse Education in Practice, 39, 45-54. Web.

Evans, D. (2017). Categorizing the magnitude and frequency of exposure to uncivil behaviors: A new approach for more meaningful interventions. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 49(2), 214-222. Web.

Green, C. (2021, April). The hollow: A theory on workplace bullying in nursing practice. In Nursing Forum (56)2, 433-438. Web.

Sherrod, J. T., & Lewallen, L. P. (2021). How nursing faculty experience the effects of workplace incivility. Nursing Education Perspectives, 42(5), 291-296. Web.

Taşkaya, S., & Aksoy, A. (2021). A bibliometric analysis of workplace incivility in nursing. Journal of Nursing Management, 29(3), 518-525. Web.

Woo, C. H., & Kim, C. (2020). Impact of workplace incivility on compassion competence of Korean nurses: The moderating effect of psychological capital. Journal of Nursing Management, 28(3), 682-689. Web.

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