Date of Conferral







Walter McCollum


Nurses experiencing bullying or witnessing other nurses bullied may choose to vacate their hospital positions. Nurse attrition negatively impacts a hospital's bottom line, which can lead to insolvency and a lack of access to healthcare by patients. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the choices nurses made regarding their careers after experiencing or witnessing bullying and to calculate a hospital's cost of loss. Freire's oppressed group theory provided the conceptual framework for the study. The basis of the research questions was to understand how the nurse felt when bullied or observing a coworker bullied, the actions taken, and the financial impact to the hospital. The snowball technique secured 11 RN participants for this phenomenological study with data collection consisting of a demographic questionnaire and semistructured interviews. Data analysis followed Maxwell's plan of initial analysis, transcribing and coding, theme identification, a final coding review, and the final abstraction. The findings in this study demonstrated that based on the lived experiences of the participants, demographics did not influence who or how nurses were bullied; and after leaving the employer, bullied nurses and witnesses displayed various emotions that encompassed nonchalance, anger, tears, or relief. Over half said they would have stayed if they had not been bullied or witnessed it. An additional theme demonstrated that the results of bullying significantly affected a hospital's bottom line in revenue and reputation. Eleven suggestions have been recommended for future studies. Academics, hospital administrators, nurses, and the community at large can use the study findings to effect changes in the hospital environment through conversations, grass-roots efforts, and collaboration.