Nursing staff experience of horizontal violence in a military healthcare facility

Susan G. Hopkinson, Michelle L. Langdon, Paul O. Merrill, Amanda S. VanDeWalle


Background and objective: Horizontal violence (HV) behaviors can lead to negative psychological and physical outcomes for nurses. There is a gap in the literature to support effective interventions to minimize HV in the nursing work environment. The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of HV by nursing staff within a United States military healthcare facility and to determine if HV education changed the experience.

Methods: This prospective descriptive study used a one group before-after design. A survey including items on HV behaviors, personal effects, and perpetrators was conducted at baseline and again at 3 months following the facility-wide offering of a 30-minute educational intervention.

Results: HV behaviors do occur within a US military nursing environment. There are differences in perpetrators across positions and ranks. A significant decrease in HV was reported after the educational intervention.

Conclusions: Although HV did occur within this US military nursing environment, it was to a lesser extent than reported in civilian nursing environments. The 30-minute educational intervention has promise as an effective method to address the experience of HV.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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