Date of Conferral







Eric Hickey


Bullying has long been associated with school children. In recent years, however, more attention has been paid to the bullying that has reached beyond the playground and into the workforce. One population facing this problem is staff nurses. To date, no one has found an effective way to address workplace bullying in the healthcare field, nor have effective methods been found for retaining trained nurses affected by this problem. The focus of this dissertation was on understanding nurses' lived experiences and how nurses decided to remain in their current working position despite these problems. Taking a phenomenological approach and using the conceptual framework of resilience, the study included telephone interviews of 2 pilot study participants and 12 main study participants. Recorded and transcribed participant responses to interview questions were coded thematically and analyzed. Three main themes emerged: stories of working with workplace bullying, challenges of the lived experiences of being bullied, and special techniques of nurses being bullied. Three subthemes also emerged: despair, love of being a nurse, and resilience. This study gave a voice to nurses affected by this problem, revealing special challenges they encounter and coping strategies they employ. Hospital administrators can use the findings of this study to create social change within nurses' working environment by implementing policies that will keep their nurses safe and happily employed. Future research should focus on workplace bullying in the nursing field and how it affects patient safety.