Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Sally S. Blowers

Committee Members

Sharon Loury, Joellen B. Edwards, Jon Ellis


Incivility is rude or discourteous behavior that demonstrates a lack of respect for others. Some nurses ignore the dictates of professionalism and exhibit a total disregard for colleagues and peers by purposefully targeting each other with uncivil behaviors. Incivility has invaded the nursing educational environment with deleterious results. Uncivil behaviors perpetrated by nursing students against other nursing students cause psychological and physiological distress for victims and witnesses. The purposes of this quantitative descriptive study were to identify the behaviors that constituted lateral student-to-student incivility, determine the frequency of experienced student-to-student incivility, and describe the coping strategies employed by prelicensure registered nursing students experiencing lateral student-to-student incivility. Prelicensure registered nursing students in associate degree, baccalaureate degree, and diploma programs were recruited online using nonprobability convenience sampling through the email member list of a national student nursing organization. Participants completed the Ways of Coping (Revised)* survey and the Incivility in Nursing Education Revised (INE-R) Survey anonymously online via email accounts. The response rate was 38%. Four behaviors are identified as highly uncivil by 83.1% to 86.1% of the 373 participants: (1) making threatening statements about weapons; (2) threats of physical harm against others; (3) property damage; and (4) making discriminating comments directed toward others. The most frequently occurring incivility behavior (n = 202; 54.2%) is the use of media devices for purposes unrelated to the current educational task. Planful problem-solving (PP) is the coping strategy employed by most participants (n = 88, 23.6%). Data was analyzed comparing participants’ nursing program levels, ages, genders, and ethnicities using descriptive statistics and Kruskal-Wallis analyses. There were no statistically significant differences across these variables.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.