When Nurses Hurt Nurses brings to the forefront a phenomenon that we all know exists but we have not yet succeeded in eradicating in the work environment. Dellasega uses the term relational aggression to identify what elsewhere has been described as lateral or horizontal violence among women. This bullying can cross generations, levels of education, positions, and perceived structure. Some believe that experiencing relational aggression is part of the rite of passage for nurses who are new to the environment or to the work-force. However, this behavior not only affects morale, collaboration, and collegiality, it has a direct effect on patient care and patient outcomes.

In a time of nursing shortage, high-acuity patients, and aging work-force, nursing cannot afford to continue this behavior. Dellasega describes the types of scenarios that are frequently seen in nursing, including verbal and non-verbal actions and outcomes. These...

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