Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Elizabeth Bruch


Incivility disrupts the learning environment for nursing students and faculty, and contributes to the national nursing shortage since many nursing faculty reportedly leave academia because of disruptive student behaviors. Academic leaders at a midwestern college of nursing are concerned by the increasing number of students engaging in uncivil behaviors and are seeking solutions. Using Clark's conceptual model, which holds that incivility can be mitigated with effective communication and engagement, this qualitative case study was designed to understand what faculty perceive as the cause of student incivility, and what actions they believe would decrease these uncivil behaviors. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews with 10 purposefully selected faculty members who met the established criteria for participation. The data were transcribed, member checked, and coded for emerging themes. Coding was completed using an open and axial coding process. Nursing faculty communicated a lack of knowledge regarding how to address student incivility, and expressed not feeling properly skilled to defuse uncivil encounters. Five major themes emerged, as follows: classroom expectations, caring culture, organizational support, orientation, and student entitlement. A 3-day professional development workshop on managing student disruptive behaviors and promoting civility within the learning environment was developed as the project outcome. Addressing incivility by learning effective ways to respond, manage, and diminish disruptive behaviors has the potential to positively impact the nursing profession, the patients in nurses' care, and the healthcare system.