Nursing Students’ Experiences With Incivility in Clinical Education Research

Critical Writing

Nursing education is based on translating class work into practical health care platforms and nurses are expected to have the skills to do that. According to Anthony & Yastik (2011), clinical education is very stressful for the students. However, the authors counter their argument by asserting that some considerable measure of stress is important and beneficial for students (Anthony & Yastik, 2011). In their article, the two authors have aimed to explore the experiences of students training as nurses. This is based on the current incivility in a health setting to uncover nurses’ acuity on some particular uncivil behaviors. With respect to the amount of stress experienced by nursing students during their study, there are several theories developed to help them cope.

Anthony & Yastik (2011) argue that some behaviors have detrimental effects on the performance of the nurses in the health center. One of the greatest tragic attitude is the “demeaning, nasty and not wanting to be bothered” attitude (Anthony & Yastik, 2011). Some nursing students have a negative attitude towards their profession hence viewing it as bother when they are called upon to offer their services. Another uncivil behavior captured in this article is the tendency of intimidating and disrupting behaviors in health care settings (Anthony & Yastik, 2011). They argue that this may have a negative influence on medical results and can consequently compromise patients’ satisfaction. In addition, it may also cause staff dissatisfaction as well as a high staff turnover rate (Anthony & Yastik, 2011).

Such behaviors are in other words known as workplace incivility and in most cases they are intended to violate the acceptable working ethics. Workplace incivilities are low intensity deviant behaviors that can harm the target and compromise mutual respect (Anthony & Yastik, 2011). According to this article, this problem is very common in the nursing profession. The nursing profession has a long history of discrimination and subordination causing nurses to turn their frustration towards their patients. Apart from incivility in the work setup, the classroom setup also has its incidents of the same. The article recommends that faculties must create a harmonious environment to enhance an effective learning atmosphere for nursing students.

Nursing students are exposed to incivility from clinical nurses and they are treated as subordinates. They experience demeaning behaviors such as exclusion, hostility and dismissive attitudes (Moscaritolo, 2009). This shows that nursing students are perceived to be a bother by the staff although their main aim in a clinical setting is to help and learn. In some cases you find that the staff members get agitated by the fact that the students are all over asking questions and seeking for help. My perception with regard to this kind of behavior is that the students are seen as a threat to the already existing members of the staff. This spurs up a competitive attitude and the competition turns into a fight leaving the poor student at a risk.

Although the staff members keep asking the students to inquire and seek for help when they need it, they respond sarcastically. Looking at their expression whenever asked a question by the students, it is very clear that they feel bothered and disturbed. It seems like the nurses are disturbed by their young and upcoming colleagues going by the incivility seen in clinical settings. It is actually difficult for a nursing student to get a full report from the nurses since they are unhelpful and unavailable to offer help. The article recommends a review of how students think of this kind of behavior in a bid to foster good relations in the clinical settings. Incivility has a negative impact on the students especially with regard to their self-worth.

This article has outlined the major impacts of incivility in nursing and the effects of such behaviors. The authors have written a very insightful article addressing and exposing the major loopholes that have affected the student-staff relationship. When assigned to a particular patient, a nursing student should have unlimited access to the medical reports for that specific patient. Denying the student such information may lead to gross clinical errors hence compromise the quality of learning and services offered. In the article, the authors recommend a mitigation plan to address the incivility issue. They recommend that administrators in clinical settings should educate their members on the organization’s code of conduct and the required professional behavior (Moscaritolo, 2009).

This should be followed by a system for rewarding and recognizing individuals with exemplary positive interactions (Griffin, 2004). The authors have recommended incivility to be a topic of discussion in classrooms and also in nursing conferences and seminars (Griffin, 2004). Addressing the issue is the most prudent solution for this problem. This article has made some progress by outlining the common incivility behaviours expressed in the nursing profession. The authors are careful to avoid being biased by putting the blame on both the students and the members of the staff. This creates a perfect background for a positive approach when pursuing a solution for incivility in nursing.


Anthony, M & Yastik, J. (2011). Nursing Students’ Experiences with Incivility in Clinical Education. Journal of Nursing Education, 50 (3), 140-143.

Griffin, M. (2004). Teaching cognitive rehearsal as a shield for lateral violence: An intervention for newly licensed nurses. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 35 (1), 257-263.

Moscaritolo, L. (2009). Intervention strategies to decrease nursing student anxiety in the clinical learning environment. Journal of Nursing Education, 48 (1), 17-23.