Workplace bullying common, not acceptable, says CLPNA

ad_Co-WorkerAbuse_300x200“A significant proportion of abuse experienced by nurses comes from their own nursing colleagues in the work setting,” states the new Practice Guideline “Addressing Co-Worker Abuse in the Workplace” from the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA).

Recognizing, addressing and eliminating workplace bullying is one of the goals of four related new CLPNA documents. The documents are the first of their kind for any LPN regulator in Canada.

90% of LPNs have witnessed bullying

In early 2013, CLPNA conducted a member survey on co-worker abuse and the 1086 LPN participants showed how bullying has impacted them. Nearly 90% of LPNs agreed they had “witnessed a nurse treating another nurse abusively”. 85% stated they were targets of abuse by other nurses at some point in their nursing career. Almost 25% observed abusive behavior among nurses within the last work week. When asked if they believe abusive behavior was tolerated in their workplace setting, 62% said ‘yes’. The data closely matches research literature.

Public safety is the goal

Infighting, sarcasm, undermining activity, withholding information, intimidation, the misuse of power – Research shows that bullying leads to stress, health issues, communication breakdown and impacts patient safety. Since the CLPNA’s primary legislative mandate is to ensure public safety, the documents will support LPNs and their employers to ensure delivery of safe, competent and ethical nursing care.

CLPNA’s Co-Worker Abuse Documents

Addressing various aspects of the co-worker abuse situation are:

Further education on identifying and handling co-worker abuse is available from CLPNA via interactive online webinars and videos (coming soon).

The documents were developed through grant funding from Alberta Employment and Immigration, Occupational Health and Safety Program Development and Research.

The CLPNA’s Co-Worker Abuse documents can be found on the CLPNA’s “Legislative, Practice & Policy” page under Supportive documents, or by contacting the CLPNA.

Questions? Contact the CLPNA’s Practice Consultants at, 780-484-8886 or 1-800-661-5877 (toll free in Alberta).