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Identifying and transforming dysfunctional nurse–nurse relationships through reflective practice and action research


Bev Taylor, Professor of Nursing, Southern Cross University, School of Nursing and Health Care Practices, Lismore, New South Wales 2480, Australia. Email:


This project facilitated reflective practice processes in experienced Registered Nurses (RNs) in order to raise critical awareness of practice problems, work systematically through problem-solving processes to uncover constraints, and improve the quality of care given by nurses in light of the identified constraints and possibilities. Twelve experienced female RNs working in a large Australian rural hospital shared their experiences of nursing during three action research cycles. A thematic concern of dysfunctional nurse–nurse relationships was identified, as evidenced by bullying and horizontal violence. The negotiated action plan was put into place and participants reported varying degrees of success in attempting to improve nurse–nurse relationships.