New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

High Levels of Verbal Abuse Associated With Negative Work Environment for Nurses

September 17, 2013

Arecent study by the RN Work Project found that newly licensed registered nurses who were verbally abused by nursing colleagues reported lower job satisfaction, unfavorable perceptions of their work environment, and greater intent to leave their current jobs. Now, a new study by the same research team finds that high levels of physician verbal abuse are closely associated with more negative work environments. The RN Work Project is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


The study found that nurses who experienced high (more than five times in the last three months) or moderate (one or more times in the last three months) levels of verbal abuse by physicians had less favorable perceptions of their work environments, lower intent to stay in their jobs, and lower commitment to their organizations. Those who experienced the most frequent abuse also perceived poor collegial relations between RNs and physicians, poor workgroup cohesion, and more work-family conflict. Higher levels of verbal abuse from physicians were also correlated with more verbal abuse among nurse colleagues.


The study was published online in Nursing Outlook. Investigators for the study were Carol Brewer of the University at Buffalo; Christine T. Kovner, professor at the NYU College of Nursing; Rana Obeidat of Zarqua University in Jordan; and Wendy Budin, adjunct professor at the NYU College of Nursing. Kovner and Brewer direct the RN Work Project.


The researchers surveyed 1,328 newly registered nurses about how often they were verbally abused by physicians and the nature of the abuse. They found that RNs who were the most likely to experience verbal abuse by physicians were younger, working in hospital settings, working day shifts, and working on units that were short-staffed.

Type: Article

High Levels of Verbal Abuse Associated With Negative Work Environment for Nurses

Search News



NYU In the News

Paying It Backward: NYU Alum Funds Scholarships

The Wall Street Journal profiled Trustee Evan Chesler on why he decided to chair the Momentum fund-raising campaign.

A Nobel Prize Party: Cheese, Bubbles, and a Boson

The New Yorker talked to Professor Kyle Cranmer and graduate student Sven Kreiss about NYU’s role in the discovery of the Higgs boson, which resulted in a Nobel prize for the scientists who predicted its existence.

The World as They Knew It

The New York Times reviewed the exhibit at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World on how ancient Greeks and Romans mapped the known and unknown areas of their world.

Elite Institutions: Far More Diverse Than They Were 20 Years Ago

NYU made stronger gains over the last 20 years in increasing diversity than any other major research university, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Program Seeks to Nurture ‘Data Science Culture’
at Universities

The New York Times reported on the multi-million collaboration among NYU and two other universities to harness the potential of Big Data, including an interview with Professor Yann LeCun, director of NYU’s Center for Data Science.

NYU Footer