1. Wilson, Barbara L. PhD, RNC
  2. Diedrich, Andrea RN, MSN
  3. Phelps, Connie L. RNC, MSN
  4. Choi, Myuaghan PhD, MPH, APRN-BC


The phenomenon of bullying or peer incivility in nursing is not new or confined to nurses. Behaviors consistent with horizontal hostility (HH) range from overt behavioral manifestations such as infighting among nurses; sabotage (where pertinent information is intentionally withheld); passive-aggressive behavior; eye rolling in response to a question; or verbal remarks that are snide, rude, and demeaning, to more covert behaviors including failure to respect confidences and privacy. Horizontal hostility can lead to profound and long-lasting effects, including diminished productivity and increased absenteeism. This study surveyed RNs at a community hospital in the Southwest to determine (a) the degree of HH in the workplace and (b) the extent that the perception of HH affected ill calls and the likelihood of leaving their current position. The authors make recommendations about the prevention, identification, and handling of HH behaviors.