Nursing Profession Archives

Lateral violence is a big problem in health care & the nursing profession

However, hospitals are beginning to be more proactive about addressing the inappropriate behavior.

It is also known as horizontal violence.  Lateral violence, basically bullying or verbal abuse, not only elevates stress levels in nursing staff, but it can endanger patient care.

There really has not been too much research on nurse hostility, but there needs to be in order to better understand the phenomenon in order to better address it.  Identifying lateral violence is one thing, and its a starting point- but there is much investigation to be done in order to help reduce the occurrence.

Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility:

For the past few years, nurse education on lateral violence has been included more often in orientation programs in many health facilities.  The nurses spend a few hours learning to recognize acts of lateral violence such as verbal abuse and then practice different techniques to address it.

Nurse Hostility Is Everywhere

Nurses often report seeing cases of other nurses ‘eating their young’ but what is more disheartening is that they believe their nurse manager is aware of the inappropriate behavior and did nothing about it.  Or even worse, that the managing experienced nurses seem to actually encourage it! In fact, an astounding number of nurses (I’ve seen reports between 80% and 95%) have either seen lateral violence and nearly 50% say they have been subjected to it in their nursing career.

Some nurses actually feel forced to leave their positions because lateral violence is so pervasive in their workplace.  There has been research showing 60% of new nurses right out of nursing school will leave their first positions within six months due to lateral violence in the workplace.

What causes Lateral Violence?

There seems to be many reasons for and types of the nurse hostility.  Sometimes it is just due to high stress and tension levels by individuals due to circumstances like being over worked.  This can happen when experienced nurses, already with a heavy workload are required to precept a new nurse or nursing students-adding to the workload.  Patience tends to run short, and the more experienced nurses are resentful for the extra work.

Often this is where verbal abuse, and even sabotage of other’s work can happen.  Unfortunately, it is not only the nursing staff that is affected, but this behavior can affect patients’ well being and can even endanger their lives.

Bottom line is this horrible behavior needs to come to an end.  More study in to the matter will help devise methods to address the behavior.  Nurse managers must also be first responders to stop lateral violence immediately.  In order to do this, they must become familiar with it and solutions.

Beyond this, health care facilities must be hyper aware of and vigilant at addressing issues like under-staffing and other staff stressors.  Nurses must work together with management to help stomp out lateral violence.


Have you taken a nursing competency assessment?

Since we have been talking a little about the NCLEX and nursing school clinicals lately, my mind has been pondering on nursing competency assessment a little.

Nursing competency assessment really has a little more to do with the management level of healthcare, but I think is a relevant topic for us now due to the vain (excuse the pun) of information that we have been talking about lately.

Measuring nursing competency is becoming more and more prevalent in the health care industry. Read the rest of this entry


Licensed Practical Nurses are also called Licensed Vocational Nurses.

We have talked about Registered Nurses (RN) and Nurse Practitioners (NP) in some detail in previous posts, so I thought we should talk about Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and give an LPN job description.
Read the rest of this entry


Where, Oh Where, Have All The Nursing Jobs Gone?

I have posted some information related to this topic in an earlier post, but it seems to be a popular question so I thought I would give a little more insight on the matter of nursing jobs here.

There are reports from many agencies that indicate a need for more RNs.

There are also many reports that suggest that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that in a few years we are going to see a huge number of open positions. Here I will give you a little more specific information about the outlook of nursing jobs. Read the rest of this entry


Understanding nursing research could lead you into a great specialty.

Understanding nursing research seems to be a good topic after my last post on informatics.  As I said in the post, as a nurse your focus is in caring for patients and their families as well as promoting education for managing their condition.

Nurse researchers use the scientific method to define criteria to improve patient care, safety procedures, as well as save costs.  There are many other specific areas of research but I see these as the primary three.  Research gets highly specific with studies like The Effectiveness of an Aspiration Risk-Reduction Protocol or Evaluating Central Venous Catheter Care.

Nursing researchers generally need to have a PhD in order to be the principal investigator of a particular area of study.

National funding will often dictate this criteria.  A nurse with an MSN (Master’s of Science in Nursing) may be eligible for a research assistant position.


Understanding Nursing Research - This can be a Specialty Specific Career Path

The National Institute of Nursing Research is a great resource and funds training opportunities for nursing research.  They provide finding to universities, hospitals, and medical centers.  The NINR also has in-house opportunities so take a look at their site if you are interested in understanding nursing research.
Some other resources that you may want to check out are the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the journal for Applied Nursing Research.

If you are an RN are interested in understanding nursing research then take a look at the sites mentioned above.  If you think that is a career path that is of interest to you, then start pursuing a higher degree such as an MSN or PhD. In the near future I will have some information for you regarding school options, so keep your eyes peeled!  Please, if you have any experience in this area, I would love to see your comments on understanding nursing research.


Nurse Practitioners (NPs) diagnose and treat much like a doctor might.

Nurse practitioner careers are available to RNs who choose to advance their career with an advanced degree, such as a Master’s degree, as well as clinical training.   They will help patients manage their illnesses at clinics, hospitals and medical offices.

Many times you will find nurse practitioner careers leading to Read the rest of this entry


Registered nurses (RNs) currently fill about two and a half million jobs in the health care industry.

A majority of those positions are in hospitals.  There are many activities in a registered nurse career no matter what the specialty.  You treat and educate patients, you record their symptoms and medical history, you provide moral support for their family members and explain to them any home care needs for post-treatment.

You work place situation is always changing, keeping you on your toes.  You must keep up to date on changing technology, new treatment criteria, not to mention the ever changing needs of your patients.

Yes, a registered nurse career will definitely keep your mind active!

RN duties vary drastically from one position to the next and are generally specific to the demographic of the patients and where the work is being done.  By this I mean that an RN on the Labor and Delivery floor of the hospital is going to have different daily tasks than a geriatric nurse working in an elderly care facility.  I know that seems to be pretty obvious when stated that way, but in my experience many people new to nursing dont consider this fact. Read the rest of this entry


6 Things to Prepare You for the Nursing Profession

If you are interested in entering the nursing profession, then there are a few things that you should do to prepare yourself.

1.  You need to have a high school diploma.

If you are still in high school, talk with your guidance counselor to see what types of classes your school offers that will help prepare you for nursing.  Most programs like to see 2-4 years of science and math, 2 years of some kind of health studies as well as language and computer classes.

If you have already graduated and have the above referenced classes, you can move on to our next checklist item.  If you are lacking some of these classes, you might consider taking a few your local community college.

2.  You need to search out nursing programs that appeal to you. Read the rest of this entry