New Zealand nursing students’ experience of bullying/harassment while on clinical placement: A cross-sectional survey

Claire Minton, Melanie Birks, Robyn Cant, Lea M. Budden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Bullying in nursing is a global problem that has been explored and reported within the literature. There is however, limited literature that deals directly with bullying of nursing students in the clinical setting in New Zealand. Aim: This prospective cross-sectional survey investigated New Zealand undergraduate nursing students’ experiences of bullying and/or harassment during clinical placement. An electronic survey was conducted between August and October 2017. Findings: Responses of 296 Bachelor of Nursing students across the three years of the course were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Forty percent (40%; 118) of students experienced being bullied while on clinical placements. There was a significant increase in the incidence of bullying as students progressed through the degree, with the highest proportion of bullying occurring in the hospital setting. The main perpetrators of bullying were registered nurses, with preceptors, mentors and clinical facilitators being the most cited perpetrators. Experiences of being bullied resulted in feelings of anxiety in students and negatively affected students’ clinical learning. Only 27% of respondents who were bullied had self-reported an episode of bullying and respondents indicated they were not satisfied with the outcome, were often uncertain whether any action was taken, and/or felt penalized for reporting bullying. Nursing students are a vulnerable group and these findings have implications for all nurses who work with students during their undergraduate degree.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-589
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Bullying
  • Clinical practicum
  • Harassment
  • Incivility, students, nursing

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