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Nursing issues
Negative workplace behaviour: nurses’ power games, blame culture and incivility—why nurses do not care for each other
  1. Vanessa Heaslip1,2,
  2. Claire Nadaf1
  1. 1 Department of Nursing and Clinical Science, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK
  2. 2 Department of Social Science, University of Stavanger Faculty of Social Science, Stavanger, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vanessa Heaslip, Department of Nursing and Clinical Science, Bournemouth University, Bournemouth BH1 3LH, UK; vheaslip{at}

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Commentary on: Hawkins N, Jeong S, Smith T. New graduate registered nurses’ exposure to negative workplace behaviour in the acute care setting: an integrative review. Int J Nurs Stud 2019;93:41–54.

Implications for practice and research

There is a need for:

  • Uniform terminology of negative workplace behaviours.

  • Strategies to support new registrants’ resilience as part of transition programmes.

  • Training for nurse leaders on developing positive workplace cultures.

  • Healthcare organisations to recognise and take action on negative workplace behaviour.

  • Further research exploring the impact of negative workforce behaviour on patient care.


There is increasing recognition of intraprofessional bullying and harassment within the nursing workforce contributing to poorer mental health, increased sickness and absence1 and poor retention. In particular, there is growing attention on recently registered nurses who have been identified as a group at high risk of experiencing bullying and harassment. This review by Hawkins and colleagues2 synthesises evidence …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.