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Building emotional intelligence: a strategy for emerging nurse leaders to reduce workplace bullying.

Nursing Administration Quarterly 37(2):144 (2013) PMID 23454994

Bullying is one of the most concerning forms of aggression in health care organizations. Conceptualized as an emotion-based response, bullying is often triggered by today's workplace challenges. Unfortunately, workplace bullying is an escalating problem in nursing. Bullying contributes to unhealthy and toxic environments, which in turn contribute to ineffective patient care, increased stress, and decreased job satisfaction among health care providers. These equate to a poor workforce environment, which in turn increases hospital costs when nurses choose to leave. Nurse managers are in positions of power to recognize and address negative workplace behaviors, such as bullying. However, emerging leaders in particular may not be equipped with the tools to deal with bullying and consequently may choose to overlook it. Substantive evidence from other disciplines supports the contention that individuals with greater emotional intelligence are better equipped to recognize early signs of negative behavior, such as bullying. Therefore, fostering emotional intelligence in emerging nurse leaders may lead to less bullying and more positive workplace environments for nurses in the future.

DOI: 10.1097/NAQ.0b013e318286de5f