Witnessing Bullying in Nursing School

It seems that the finest nurses get the worst rap. Because of their empathy and their love and dedication to the job, they are often the ones who are targeted most by bullies. A nurse’s job is hard enough but when she is bullied by not only superiors and coworkers, but patients and their families too, I can only imagine how much harder she must work to hold it together- especially if he/she is fresh out of nursing school.

When a nurse is bullied, it’s devastating and only goes to show what a thankless job he/she does! And sadly, bullying often starts in nursing school.

There’s a saying that’s been popular for quite a while:

“Nurses eat their young.”

Sadly, it’s true and most likely the reason the medical field has such a shortage of nurses.

If you’ve ever been through nursing school, then you know it’s not only boot camp for your brain, but also a cesspool of bullies. Not that all nurses are bullies because they’re not. We have some fine nurses and they are our heroes! But sadly, the bullies seem to spoil it for all these wonderful people!

It’s shocking that there are bullies in a profession which is centered on care and healing and pride’s itself on compassion and empathy. Yet many students who’d be awesome nurses are often bullied out by those who are only in it for the great pay and prestige they know will come with being a nurse.

And in the workplace, the handful of bullies often make it hard for the greatest nurses in the field!

In 2013, I began training to become an RN. And I won’t pretend that it wasn’t tough. Although there were a few times when a few attempted to bully me, I managed to blow it off and after a few times, they left me alone.

However, there was another woman, a young girl who was just a few years post-high school. I had the displeasure of watching her get tormented by the other students. And they would bully her to the point of tears! Even the instructors mistreated her. My heart broke for her. We’ll call her McKinley.

McKinley was young, a vibrant and gorgeous lady! And beautiful! So beautiful that she could’ve easily been a face on a magazine cover!

I’m not kidding. This young lady had movie-star looks- a trim waist, long beautiful hair, wide, almond-shaped eyes, and a natural sun-kissed glow! And these spiteful older women in the staff seemed to target her every chance they got, which sent the message to the other students that it was okay for them to bully her too.

Bullies only ruin any profession they seek.

motivational inspirational

What was really shocking was that the two main bullies in the class would cheat on tests and when the rest of the class reported them, they were allowed to get away with it because, conveniently, the cameras in the classroom weren’t working or so it was told. And would you believe these instructors made sure the cheaters went on to graduate?

It’s funny how those two seemed to get a free pass. But you can bet that if they’d accused sweet McKinley of the same, they wouldn’t have thought twice about kicking her out of the nursing program!

Lucky for me, I still remember the cheater’s names and will know who to watch out for in the event I get sick and end up in a hospital bed.

As I continued to watch McKinley get berated, I grew both sad and angry at the same time. So, I decided to befriend her and immediately took her under my wing, giving her a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on when she needed it.

Great illustration of Retro Styled Businesswoman who caught up in a bureaucratic Spiders Web and looks like she is on the menu of a business lunch.

Having been bullied in the past and knowing well how it felt, I bore this child’s pain! She soon became “my daughter from another mother” and through the rest of the semester, McKinley and I were inseparable.

I never went back after that semester. This experience made me realize that this wasn’t really what I wanted to do. McKinley dropped out the following semester.

She and I remain friends to this day and I’m excited to say, she’s happy! McKinley has moved on to a better life. Having since gotten married and had two children. She’s also moved on to another career, one she enjoys!

McKinley now has the job, family, and home she’s always wanted and I couldn’t be more proud of her. And I have no doubt she will continue to make her surrogate mother proud!

Reminder:
Don’t forget to pray from all the great nurses and other healthcare workers during this crisis! They not only put themselves but their families at risk! Pray that God will form a hedge of protection around them and bless them with staying healthy as they continue to put in long hours and help those who are stricken with Coronavirus.

17 thoughts on “Witnessing Bullying in Nursing School

  1. There are a few good medical workers. I have witnessed many shall we say bad nurses bullies who deliberately harm the patients they look after, unfortunately my Father was one and I saw many patients deteriorate due to neglect so much so they died. This was heartbreaking for me and my family. To see a patient who was in relatively good sound mind deteriorate through the maliciousness of the nurses and such.

  2. It is a good point to discuss the situation of nurses. For me, a new world with what you describe of them.
    She had no idea what world her profession lives in. Very unfortunate, especially with what they are going through today with the pandemic.
    Your opinion is very clear.
    Greetings
    Manuel Angel
    .

  3. I know nursing programs are hard and very competitive. I have noticed whether it is stress or whatever but many people in nursing seem to have attitude problems. Not all but way too many. Nurses have to remember that when people have trusted them with their loved ones their feelings are on their shoulders. A nurse must show empathy yet professionalism. I keep hearing about many entering nursing programs that do bully others or have trouble passing drug tests which are random and mandatory. If you have a drug problem and they are doing drug tests, why would you even bother?!

    • Thank you so much, Bella. Because I knew firsthand how it felt, I couldn’t just stand by and watch it happen. I had to be there for her. And yes, so many who bullied her were older nurses and it was appalling! Even a few instructors- sad!

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