I have been bullied by a charge nurse. Can I report her to the board of nursing?

By | 2022-02-23T14:31:41-05:00 December 18th, 2012|3 Comments

Question:

Dear Donna,

My department has gone through a lot of changes with a new manager and charge nurse. The charge nurse has been ordering us around, saying she is there to run things as she sees fit. She has been rude, raising her voice and using intimidation. I informed human resources, but when they talked to her, she denied everything. I will be leaving my job, which I love, to avoid getting verbally abused and harassed. Can I report this nurse to the board? How can I help my colleagues deal with this bully?

Feeling Bullied

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Feeling Bullied,

It’s always challenging to comment on this type of situation without knowing all the details and the players. That being said, every workplace should have policies in place on hostile work environments. Although you already informed human resources, presumably on an informal verbal basis, your next step would be to check the organization’s problem-solving policy and initiate a written complaint in accordance with the established protocol. If all else fails, you and your co-workers can seek legal counsel, if you feel you have been the victims of harassment. You also should mention the situation in your exit interview.

Because this is a problem for the entire nursing staff, you should talk as a group to your department manager. You said human resources approached the charge nurse, but she denied everything. If the entire department makes a complaint, it has much more weight. In the interim, you should at least keep detailed records of what is being said and done by the charge nurse and your own actions to bring this to the attention of your supervisors, the response you get and when.

I’m not sure that this is something reportable to the board of nursing. But you might want to discuss this with a nurse attorney before proceeding further.

You may find this article helpful: “End workplace abuse” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/End-Workplace-Abuse).

Best wishes,
Donna

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3 Comments

  1. Avatar
    DARLENE Ann NELSON June 18, 2018 at 12:03 am - Reply

    This is beyond common and the literature replete with research supporting the abuse nurses are subject to. It is a reason that preventable medical error is now the 3rd leading cause of death. Because nurses are afraid to report acts of negligence. The Board of Nursing is unlikely to act on a complaint of such though bullying erodes the culture of safety. You may be able seek civil remedy.

  2. Avatar
    Leve June 19, 2018 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    Hi Donna,.I am an OR nurse for more than 22 years but is disabled now. I have a terrible constant knee and back pain. I have applied in other areas of nursing like in a clinic unfortunately every I time applied the employer only see my background as an OR nurse.
    Since most of my experience were spend working in the OR only OR job were offered to me .

    Is there any other nursing job out there for nurses with a disability like mine.

  3. Avatar
    Stacey July 21, 2020 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I am a certified nurse assistant I have been bullet bye a manager 2019 pointing her finger
    I have been on my job for 17 years this lady fired me 4 something I didn’t do now she don’t work there no more I let her director know she put her finger in my face she said she been coach on that before like nothing. After that my life was a nightmare. Now I don’t have a job after 17 years now she’s at Baylor that was her first manager job I have been on oncology for 17 year

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