Why should nurses accept that violence and aggression is an accepted part of their working lives?

Workplace violence has been defined as mistreatment, threatening behaviour or insults, including physical and psychological violence.

Scottish researchers looked at 10 years of media reporting about violence towards nurses.

They found that reporting in the media was superficial when there was a story about workplace violence towards nurses.

The assumption behind the reporting was there is an expectation that nurses will be subjected to workplace violence.

Reporters never looked at what should be done to prevent violence occurring.

The impact on nurses who experience workplace violence has serious consequences.

Apart from physical injuries, they report sleeping problems, anxiety, depression and other chronic health issues.

Naturally, their work performance is also affected.

Nurse report poor job satisfaction, lack of concentration at work, increased risk of errors, and low productivity.

Despite the rhetoric of improving the working life of nurses, rates of violence and aggression have not declined.

The researchers say that

“Media reporting of violence and aggression toward nurses might shape people’s  perceptions of the profession, perhaps impeding nurse recruitment and retention efforts in the face of global nursing  shortages.”

The normalizing of workplace violence towards nurses is a given in news reports.

There was little reporting about the consequences of workplace violence for nurses.

Newspapers tended to sensationalize the stories.

The focus needs to be on prevention and reduction measures so that all nurses are safe in the workplace.

That’s a campaign any decent publication should support.

To learn more about workplace violence,

Hoyle, L., Smith, E., and Mahoney, C. “Media Depictions of “Unacceptable” Workplace Violence Toward Nurses.” Policy, Politics, & Nursing Practice (2018)


There are many reasons why nurse stop working.

It may be the shifts you have to work or the people you work with.

A nurse may feel unappreciated in their work for a variety of causes.

Sometimes nurses feel that work just makes them “sick to their stomach.”

A French study reports that to the best of their knowledge there has never been an investigation into nurse turnover which looked at career opportunities, the role of the supervisor and social isolation at work.

So that is what they looked at.

And the results are not surprising.

Firstly, organisations need to have policies that foster career opportunities for nurses.

Where nurses had an emotional bond with the organisation the likelihood was that turnover was reduced.

Secondly, supervisors need to encourage high-quality relationships with their staff.

Nurses who have a good relationship with their supervisor are less likely to leave.

And finally, nurses who feel socially isolated from their co-workers are more likely to leave.

Those nurses who work casually are all too aware of this.

But even nurses in permanent employment can feel isolated from their colleagues because of the work pressures that prevent time for social and informal interactions with their peers.

None of this rocket science.

So if you are at a place where there is no pathway for your career, leave.

If your supervisor is appalling, leave.

And if you feel socially isolated, leave.

Life is too short — the chances are that work can get better.

To learn more about nurse turnover and why nurses should leave,

Huyghebaert T, Gillet N, Audusseau O, Fouquereau E. Perceived career opportunities, commitment to the supervisor, social isolation: Their effects on nurses’ well‐being and turnover. J Nurs Manag. 2018;00:1– 8.