Antidote for Nurse-On-Nurse Bullying: Dr. Renee Thompson


Do you often ask yourself, “Why did I choose to become a nurse? The nursing unit where I work is hardly the supportive place I imagined as a student. As a newer RN, I feel incompetent most of the time. My co-workers laugh at me, roll their eyes, and make snide cracks when I ask questions. I’m in my late 40s and it takes me longer than the younger RNs to figure out new technology. My preceptor yells at me in front of patients and finds fault with everything I do; it seems nothing I do is ever “right” in her eyes. I can’t concentrate and worry about making mistakes in caring for my patients. I have been calling in sick lately with stomachaches and headaches. My preceptor idealizes her “pet” nurses, the younger ones in their 20’s who are more tech savvy, and she makes passive-aggressive comments in front of me about her pets being so “sharp and quick.” Maybe I’m just being too sensitive but, on most days, I feel ready to quit nursing.”

Why are nurses to nasty to each other? What can be done about it?

Renee Thompson, DNP, RN, CMSRN

Renee Thompson, DNP, RN, CMSRN


Just ask Dr. Renee Thompson, nurse, speaker, consultant, and author of “Do No Harm” Applies To Nurses Too! and Celebrate Nursing: Human By Birth, Hero By Choice. Determined to address the nurse bullying problem, in 2011, Renee founded RTConnections, a company dedicated to promoting a supportive nursing culture through education. Renee offers a wide range of speaking and consulting services to educate members of the nursing profession at most any location. Through her educational efforts, including on-site workshops, retreats, seminars, and more, Renee is breaking the silence on horizontal (nurse-on-nurse) bullying.

Services like Renee’s are in high demand–and could ultimately help save patient lives. The Joint Commission (2008) issued a sentinel alert about bullying in health care organizations and the costs incurred from hostile work environments–including compromised patient care:

“Intimidating and disruptive behaviors can foster medical errors, contribute to poor patient satisfaction, preventable adverse outcomes, increase the cost of care, and cause qualified clinicians, administrators and managers to seek new positions in more professional environments. Safety and quality of patient care is dependent on teamwork, communication, and a collaborative work environment. To assure quality and promote a culture of safety, health care organizations must address the problem of behaviors that threaten the performance of the health care team.” Sentinel Event Alert, Issue 40: Behaviors that undermine a culture of safety (Joint commission, July 9, 2008). 

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I have had the pleasure of getting to know Renee and have read “Do No Harm” Applies To Nurses Too! Renee’s work offers valuable and practical advice for nurses–and for ANYONE who needs help and support in handling bullies. Reading the book is like sitting with a trusted friend or intuitive therapist who “gets” you and validates your experience.

To find out how you can bring Renee to your organization or next nursing event, click here.

To order Renee’s books and other unique items for nurses, click here.

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