Why Are Nurses Mean?

I have to say, it is so disheartening when I see nurses being mean to other nurses. First of all I want to say, “STOP IT NOW!”  It starts to with you! Yes, you! If you feel guilty reading this post, you have been mean to a fellow nurse! 

Last night is a perfect example of what I mean. Here’s what happened….I went to a local chapter nursing association meeting and the guest speaker was a Chief Nursing Officer of a small local hospital. She was phenomenal by the way! But during her introduction the president asked her how long she had been a nurse. I said to myself, “why does that matter?” She’s a CNO, right! That takes hard work, dedication, and education to get there! A woman in the audience replied, out loud to all of us after she told us how long and said, “you’re a baby!” I thought to myself, “wow, how rude and disrespectful!!” That to me was such a perfect example of why I am writing this blog. 

Why do we as nurses think that we have the right to judge another nurse by the years of experience they have? Nursing is so dynamic and specialized today there is no way a nurse can be an expert in every area of nursing. And what about career paths? Who makes me the judge of whether or not someone has been a nurse ‘long enough’? And what makes me the expert on knowing whether or not you are going to be a good nurse when your a student?  Believe me, I could go on and on with the judgements I have heard from nurses! I have seen nurses almost give up on their careers because of the mean things other nurses have said to them! 

This is area that I am very passionate about. Nowadays, it is called bullying and lateral violence and that’s because it is real, and it needs to be dealt with. We had to put a name to it I order to change it.  I really don’t want to answer the question why.  What I really hope to accomplish is to empower you to stand up for yourself! Advocate for yourself. Do not allow this kind of behavior to happen to you!  There is support out there, you are not alone. If you need help with this issue, please reach out to your human resource department for guidance.  If you need additional help there are nurse legal experts out there that can help you.  Don’t be bullied, but also check yourself and make sure you are not participating the the problem. Be apart of the solution!  Bring awareness to your unit – do a project on bullying in your hospital to help bring awareness and exposure to this important issue. It is NOT going to go away unless we do something about it!

Be Inspired,

Lisa Marie Walsh


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