COM FPX 3700 Assessment 2 Institutional Conflict

COM FPX 3700 Assessment 2 Institutional Conflict

Organizational Conflict

The nursing profession is considered one of the most trusted professions in America.  In addition to being the oath trustworthy, nursing is also one of the hardest professions, with a high rate of burnout. Nurses are routinely exposed to verbal abuse and physical violence, not only by angry, belligerent patients but by the very coworkers beside them. Nurses are three times more likely to be victims of violence than other medical workers. (Etienne, 2014)  “Nurses who are stressed or “burned out’ are not able to practice competently, increasing the risk of clinical errors (Etienne, 2014).” Nurse bullying encourages a poor work environment, poor patient outcomes, and increased costs to the facility due to staff turnover. 

COM FPX 3700 Assessment 2 Institutional Conflict

Bullying takes many different forms, some blatantly obvious to very passively hidden. Obvious behaviors more easily recognized as bullying are extreme micromanaging, verbal criticism, name-calling, insults, and direct threats. Nurses that frequently commit these acts typically do so in a more accepting organization. The more common forms of bullying are less obvious and easier to go undetected by outsiders. These indirect actions are gossip, rumors, withholding pertinent information about a patient, unfair assignments, undesirable tasks as punishment, and even sabotage. Withholding information and sabotage of assignments quickly turns to injury and harm to patients. The American Nurses Association defines bullying as “repeated, unwanted harmful actions intended to humiliate, offend and cause distress in the recipient(Edmonson & Zelonka, 2019).” Problems encountered by nurses experiencing workplace bullying are numerous. Some reported issues are not wanting to go to work, calling out of work, having health and sleep disorders, communication problems with other staff members, isolation from social activities and family, and ultimately leaving their jobs, and potentially the field altogether. (Ovayolu et al., 2014)

“Most frequent bully of nurses is other nurses(Edmonson & Zelonka, 2019).” Bullies often lack self-confidence and view others as a threat. Older nurses pick on younger nurses seeing them as a threat to their job security or feeling replaced.  Younger nurses criticize their older peers for diminished physical abilities or appearance. “Nurses who lack the power to respond effectively to managers or hospital administrators turn their hostility toward each other (Etienne, 2014).”  Bullying from nurse leaders and administration frequently starts in school. Where professors and clinical instructors treat students unfairly and this continues throughout the nurse’s career. It is frequently referred to as nurses eating their young. This has become so commonly accepted many consider it a rite of passage. This belief among nurses creates the perfect environment for bullying to thrive.(Edmonson & Zelonka, 2019)

Bullying in the profession of nursing took decades to turn into what it is, the solution is not going to be a quick one. The first hurdle is for agencies and facilities to recognize there is a problem.   Adequate support in the workplace and a zero-tolerance policy from the administration need to occur.  Nurses are trained to be advocates for patients. Nurses need to be advocates for each other, otherwise, they become bystanders facilitating the spread of bullying. Everyone points out bullying as it occurs and not ignoring it. “One strategy shown to be effective in curbing bullying is assertiveness and aggression training for nurses(Etienne, 2014).” Education for everyone in an organization starts at the top. Training leaders on ways to communicate effectively and respectfully is essential, to set an example others can model. Educating nurses to promote strategies for creating a positive work environment Addressing bullying behaviors quickly, firmly in an environment supporting learning from the situation. Providing counseling and encouraging use to employees, victims, and perpetrators of bullying. (Edmonson & Zelonka, 2019)

COM FPX 3700 Assessment 2 Institutional Conflict

Bullying is not a new term, to any profession, let alone the nursing profession. Education, academics and professional stature has been highly favored among healthcare workers, a result of the functional conflict that is a conflict that positively impacts the organization. However, as the nursing shortage progresses the requirements have changed. Where it was once a matter of which RN had the best education and or professional stature, it is now which RN with a mere diploma and a heartbeat can get to work in such short-handed conditions, a result of dysfunctional conflict, negative impact of conflict on an organization(Katz & Flynn, 2013). So, how do we move forward, where bullying is so prevalent in so many branches of the healthcare system? Bullying of nurses has negative consequences for everyone touched by the healthcare system, from the nurse to the patient, to the facility, and the entire medical profession. Nurses who are burnt out are often nurses who quit the profession. (Ovayolu et al., 2014) Burnout nurses that don’t quit their profession, are not able to do their best at work and this creates poor outcomes. Poor outcomes create unhappy Nurses, increased medication errors, and overall patient dissatisfaction. The financial cost to a facility for Nurse turnover is estimated in the range of $38,000- 61,000 per nurse that leaves.  This is not considering any of the financial costs. Bullying among nurses is bad for the profession and it is bad for the patients. Bullied nurses are more likely to provide poor patient care than satisfied Nurses. Further, nurses devote many years and thousands of dollars into their education and training, it is very unfortunate when so many Nurses leave the profession, after investing so much time, effort, and money. Nurses are already in short supply, so it is beneficial to everyone that better work environments become normalized.  Better work environments can and should be the goal of the future of nursing. This seems like a difficult feat to accomplish. However, with great acknowledgment and awareness of the issue, change can and must happen. This research has been an eye-opening experience, although this is not a new concept as a bedside nurse.  (Edmonson & Zelonka, 2019)

COM FPX 3700 Assessment 2 Institutional Conflict


Edmonson, C., & Zelonka, C. (2019). Our own worst enemies. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 43(3), 274–279.

Etienne, E. (2014). Exploring workplace bullying in nursing. Workplace Health & Safety, 62(1), 6–11.

Katz, N. H., & Flynn, L. T. (2013). Understanding conflict management systems and strategies in the workplace: A pilot study. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 30(4), 393–410.

Ovayolu, Ö., Ovayolu, N., & Karadag, G. (2014). Workplace bullying in nursing. Workplace Health & Safety, 62(9), 370–374.

Struggling With Your Paper?
Get in Touch