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J Nurs Educ. 2011 Mar;50(3):140-4. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20110131-04. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Nursing students' experiences with incivility in clinical education.

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University of Detroit Mercy, McAuley School of Nursing, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


This qualitative study aimed to explore the experiences of nursing students as targets of incivility in clinical settings, to describe their perceptions of specific uncivil and favorable behaviors by nurses, and to examine how nursing students think schools of nursing should address incivility in clinical settings. Four focus groups were conducted comprising 21 prelicensure nursing students. Data were collected with semi-structured interviews. Uncivil behaviors fell into three themes: exclusionary, hostile or rude, and dismissive. Positive experiences occurred when students felt included by the staff nurses in patient care. Schools of nursing should prepare students through discussion. Our research suggests that incivility occurs in clinical education. Further research on a larger scale is needed to provide qualitative and generalizable findings. All health care team members, including students, should be educated about the organization's code of conduct.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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