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Theses Doctoral

Examining Bullying, Harassment, and Horizontal Violence (BHHV) in Student Nurses

Geller, Nicole F.

Bullying, harassment, and horizontal violence (BHHV) is commonly reported by student nurses during their clinical education. Despite decades of mention in the literature, no instrument is available to specifically measure the student nurse’s experience of BHHV during clinical education. Purpose: The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the experience of BHHV in a population of student nurses matriculating during their clinical education in New York. The experience of BHHV is measured with the BEHAVE Survey, the instrument developed and tested for this purpose. Methods: This dissertation is presented in three-manuscripts: (1) a comprehensive review of the literature using The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) Statement as the methodological guide, (2) the initial psychometric testing of BEHAVE (Bulling, harassment, and HorizontAl ViolencE) for validity and reliability at a university-based school of nursing in New York, and (3) a descriptive, quantitative survey of baccalaureate nursing students at a university-based school of nursing in New York completed as a field test of the BEHAVE. Results: Despite variations in methodology, measurement, terms, definitions, and coding of behaviors and sources of BHHV, the findings of this literature review indicate that student nurses are common targets of BHHV during clinical education, regardless of demographic characteristics, disability, sexual orientation, geography location, academic institution or program type. Psychometric testing indicated: scale-level content validity index among experts 0.89, r = 0.97, a Cronbach’s α 0.94, and percent agreement 93% in test-retest reliability. BEHAVE was administered to a total of 32 participants (96.7% participation rate). Approximately 72% reporting current experienced or observed BHHV with 46.8% (36/77) of incidents originated from a nurse. Conclusions: The evidence from both the literature and this field trial suggests that BHHV is a common experience among nursing students. This is significant because student nurses are vulnerable to BHHV and studies including students have been limited to date. Therefore, it behooves the research community to continue to explore the impact of BHHV on the student nurse’s socialization into the professional nursing role. Further knowledge may inform targeted interventions to reduce BHHV and improve the ability of nursing students to minimize the impact of BHHV should it occur.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Larson, Elaine
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 25, 2013