Who would want to be a nurse? Violence in the workplace – a factor in recruitment and retention

Authors

  • D. Jackson RN, BHSc(Nsg), MN(Ed), PhD,

    1. Senior Lecturer and Research Co-ordinator, School of Nursing, Family and Community Health, College of Social and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Penrith South DC NSW 1797,
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  • J. Clare RN, MA(Hons), PhD,

    1. Professor and Dean, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia, and
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  • J. Mannix RN, BEd(Nsg), MN(Hons)

    1. Lecturer, School of Nursing, Family and Community Health, College of Social and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Australia
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D. Jackson
School of Nursing, Family
and Community Health
College of Social and
Health Sciences
University of Western Sydney
Locked Bag 1797
Penrith South DC NSW 1797
NSW
Australia
E-mail: de.jackson@uws.edu.au

Abstract

In a climate of a declining nursing workforce where violence and hostility is a part of the day-to-day lives of most nurses, it is timely to name violence as a major factor in the recruitment and retention of registered nurses in the health system. Workplace violence takes many forms such as aggression, harassment, bullying, intimidation and assault. Violent acts are perpetrated against nurses from various quarters including patients, relatives, other nurses and other professional groups. Research suggests that nurse managers are implicated in workplace violence and bullying. Furthermore, there may be a direct link between episodes of violence and aggression towards nurses and sick leave, burnout and poor recruitment and retention rates. This paper explores what is known about workplace violence as it affects nurses, and calls for managerial support and policy to act to improve work environments for all nurses.

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