“They can crush you”: Nursing students’ experiences of bullying and the role of faculty

L. Michelle Seibel, Florriann Carissa Fehr


This paper will explore the faculty role when nursing students experience bullying, and what teaching practices best support student confidence and learning. Failure to address the issue of bullying in nursing education contributes to bullying in the profession, and creates an atmosphere of distrust between students and faculty. Nursing students have reported that faculty sometimes behave in bullying ways or are ill-prepared to address bullying as it occurs. Faculty may contribute to bullying unknowingly, as students may perceive teaching behaviours, such as giving feedback, as bullying. Giving feedback is a skill in itself, and faculty members should consider factors influencing a student’s perception of student/teacher interactions. Having a firm grasp on conflict resolution processes and reviewing related curriculum are responsibilities of post-secondary nurse educators. Faculty also have the responsibility to recognize and address conflict in a timely manner, and turn difficult situations into learning experiences or teachable moments. In order to prevent faculty bullying of students, faculty members should acknowledge the inherent vulnerability of learners, and also reflect on their own communication practices and their potential impact on learners.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v8n6p66

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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