Positive work environments of early-career registered nurses and the correlation with physician verbal abuse

Carol S. Brewer, Christine T. Kovner, Rana F. Obeidat, Wendy C. Budin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Verbal abuse in the workplace is experienced by registered nurses (RNs) worldwide; physicians are one of the main sources of verbal abuse. Purpose: To examine the relationship between levels of physician verbal abuse of early-career RNs and demographics, work attributes, and perceived work environment. Method: Fourth wave of a mailed national panel survey of early career RNs begun in2006. Discussion: RNs' perception of verbal abuse by physicians was significantly associated with poor workgroup cohesion, lower supervisory and mentor support, greater quantitative workload, organizational constraints, and nurse-colleague verbal abuse, as well as RNs' lower job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and intent to stay. Conclusion: RNs working in unfavorable work environments experience more physician abuse and have less favorable work attitudes. Causality is unclear: do poor working conditions create an environment in which physicians are more likely to be abusive, or does verbal abuse by physicians create an unfavorable work environment?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)408-416
Number of pages9
JournalNursing outlook
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013



  • Bullying
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Early career registered nurses
  • Verbal abuse
  • Work environment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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