Lateral Violence

Topics: Nursing, Nurse, Florence Nightingale Pages: 7 (1512 words) Published: September 23, 2014

Lateral Violence
Shelisa Cooper
Southern New Hampshire University
Nursing Leadership and Management
NUR 310
Joyce O'Reilly
June 16, 2014
Lateral Violence
Lateral violence (LV) is growing issue in nursing and tend to be oxymoronic since the nursing profession is known as a profession of caring. Though lateral violence exist in other professions, the nursing profession should lead the charge in resolving such acts among a profession that plays such a vital role in the quality of others’ lives. Lateral violence should become extinct within the nursing profession. In order for this to take place LV need to be brought to the fore front of discussions among the nursing educational arenas and also throughout healthcare organizations. Since new nursing graduates tend to be the initial target of lateral violence, nursing educational institutions should evaluate lateral violence through discussions and research, and also provide training regarding various ways to promptly deal with a situation that may involve LV. Within healthcare organizations LV should be a topic that is discussed and the organizations’ position should be clearly defined. It has been proven that healthcare organizations suffer financial loss if LV exist within their culture. Part of the financial loss is due to lateral violence has been found to be one of the leading causes of new graduate nurses resigning from nursing positions. Revenue is lost when nurses resign and the organization also runs the risk of low quality indicators if LV exist because it has been proven that the existence of LV also increase the risk for medical errors. ("Lateral Violence," 2011, p. 1) It is this authors’ opinion that LV may not be fully eliminated from an organization because it is of this authors opinion that there will always be nurses that are having personal and even professional difficulty and their only coping mechanism is to lash out at others, but lateral violence can be positioned in a place of priority within an organization where that nurse/employee would have avenues within the organization to receive help during their time of difficulty and also policies should be in place that if that person decided to forgo assistance and lash out toward a co-worker that they would quickly understand that there are consequences to their actions and could possibly lead to termination. Lateral violence is a form of bullying that occurs when a colleague maybe of higher position intimidates a person to make that person feel dejected or cause them to become emotionally upset. These behaviors can be in the form of gossiping, back biting, body and facial obstinate language or withholding information to set the nurse up so to speak. Student nurses, new nurses and nurses that are new to a workplace are noted to be most susceptible to LV. This population are understood to have the highest probability to leave a job or may even choose another profession within the first year of their profession (Sauer, 2011, p. 3). Student nurses reported that 53% of them experienced being put down by a staff nurse and 56.9% reported that they had be verbally abused and threatened. There are major consequences that occur due to workplace bullying. Lateral violence not only place undo pain and suffering of the direct victim but also causes conflict for the organization and also has an effect on patient care. The Joint commission (2007) has come to the conclusion that unresolved issues of LV adversely affects the safety of patients within that facility and also affect quality of care. LV also affects the ability to retain qualified staff which adds to the already diminished number of working nurses. (Lateral violence and Bullying in the Workplace, 2008, p. 4) The emergency department (ED) is noted to have various factors where LV can occur or even prevail. The ED setting patient care variances can change rapidly. The nature of the ED can be very stressful for nursing staff. The...

References: Break the Spell and End Lateral Violence in Nursing. (2013). Retrieved from
Embree, J. L., & White, A. H. (2010). Concept Analysis: Nurse-to-Nurse. Nursing Forum, 45(3), 166-173.
Lateral Violence and Bullying in the Workplace [PDF]. (2008, February). Retrieved from
Sauer, P. (2011, August 11). Do Nurses Eat Their Young? Truth and Consequences. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 38(1), 43-46.
Sheridan-Leos, N. (2008). Professional Issues: Understanding Lateral Violence in Nursing. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 12(3), 399-403.
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