Honors Program

University Honors

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Angela Flemmer

Thesis Professor Department


Thesis Reader(s)

Renee Lowe


The present study investigated the existence of bullying by medical staff members in the clinical setting as experienced by nursing students, the existence of burnout among these students, and if such students perceive feelings of burnout as directly related to experiences of bullying. Undergraduate main campus traditional Bachelor of Science in nursing students at East Tennessee State University in their second, third, fourth, or fifth semesters were invited to participate in the study. Participants (n=52) were required to complete an online survey that regarded bullying, burnout, and how participants perceive the relation between the two variables. The study shows that over half of participants had experienced at least one bullying instance in the clinical setting. Furthermore, over half of participants reported they had used the term “burnt out” to describe their feelings toward their nursing education more than seven times and reported a decreased desire to continue their nursing education at least some of the time. Over half of participants reported that their feelings of burnout were directly caused by experiences of bullying at least some of the time. This study shows a significant existence of both bullying and burnout among nursing students at ETSU and that most nursing students sense bullying as a cause of burnout at least some of the time.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


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