Civility versus Incivility in Nursing: How the Two Affect Professionalism in Nursing

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Not very many people consider the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, this includes nurses as well. At times, hostile work environments are created by the nursing staff.

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Not all of the nursing staff creates these environments and there are even fewer who realize that they might be causing it. However, whether or not it is intentional it is still a factor of the patient’s safety. It can also create workplace violence, including, but not limited to, patient-nurse violence. Incivility will also lead to burn-out and high turnover rates due to dissatisfaction within the place of work. Regrettably, this also includes nursing students in their clinical settings. According to the ANA, there are no laws or current federal legislation that requires hospitals or offices to protect against any kind of bullying or uncivil actions. Unfortunately, it seems as though civility is very rarely seen or practiced in the nursing field. Professionals in the health care environment need to be more civil with each other and to the patients in the future. This will help to construct an enriched working environment. This would also help reduce the amount of interdepartmental changes that are being made by the newer generation of nurses. It would also help keep the newer generations from wanting to leave the profession. If these problems are brought to light and the problems are corrected, then more students would be willing to join the nursing program.


There are a number of people who do not fully comprehend the word incivility. They do not recognize that it includes gossiping, being rude to other nurses or patients, using vulgar language, and belittling other people. It does not matter if these actions are intentional or all in good fun. These behaviors foster volatile and dangerous working surroundings.


A nurse’s atmosphere is supposed to be therapeutic. It is increasingly difficult to maintain that when there is a constant occurrence of impoliteness and disrespect surrounding them (Critical Care Nurse, 2016). If a nurse has to deal with another nurse or patient being bad-mannered or offensive it can affect any number of activities the nurse must complete before the end of their shift.

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