South African undergraduate nursing students experience of intra-professional violence

  • Natasjha Engelbrecht
  • Tanya Heyns
  • Isabel M. Coetzee
Keywords: Clinical learning environment, intra-professional violence, horizontal violence, lateral violence, undergraduate nursing student


Nurses are often confronted with the effects of violence, and the profession itself is suffering because of these effects. Intra-professional violence is taking its toll on undergraduate nursing students and is causing graduates to leave the profession even before embarking on their new careers. The research reports on the intra-professional violence that South African undergraduate nursing students were exposed to in the clinical learning environment. The objective was to determine who the most likely perpetrator(s) were and what type of intra-professional violence were experienced. Following a quantitative design, data was collected by means of a questionnaire adapted from both the Nurse Workplace Scale (NWS) and the Bullying in Nursing Education Questionnaire (BNEQ). The population consisted of undergraduate nursing students registered at nursing education institutions in South Africa. Convenience sampling was used, and a total of 680 undergraduate nursing students completed the questionnaire. It was found that the most likely intra-professional violent behaviour they were subjected to was being treated differently because of their undergraduate status. The main perpetrator was found to be the registered nurse. Intra-professional violence should be addressed in the educational and the clinical learning environment by teaching nursing students about professional ethics and by setting an example.

Keywords: Clinical learning environment; intra-professional violence; horizontal violence; lateral violence; undergraduate nursing student


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231