The RCN believes that the nursing workforce should be treated fairly and consistently, and with dignity and respect wherever they work. As a newly registered nurse you may be exposed to, or witness, bullying behaviours from colleagues or managers. 

Bullying can impact on the victim's physical, psychological and emotional health. It can lead to poor work performance and feelings of fear and anger. Unsurprisingly, in workplace cultures where bullying is allowed to thrive, it can impact on patient outcomes. There is increasing evidence that incivility or rudeness at work can impact on patient safety.

Your employer has a duty of care to provide a safe and healthy working environment, which includes one where dignity and respect is promoted and bullying behaviours are tackled at the earliest instance. Nursing staff also have a responsibility to ensure their behaviour does not distress colleagues.

NMC Code: The Code (NMC, 2018) requires registrants to ‘work co-operatively’. This includes the requirement to respect the skills, expertise and contributions of your colleagues, referring matters to them when appropriate; to maintain effective communication with colleagues and to keep colleagues informed when you are sharing the care of individuals with other health and care professionals and staff.

Further information

RCN Bullying and Harassment at Work: a guide for members

Bullying, harassment and stress  – online advice and a diary you can use to log incidents

RCN Discrimination guide

RCN Counselling Service

* Protected characteristics (2019) are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation

* Third Party Sexual Harassment 

Or search: Your rights under the Equality Act 2010