Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2024


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Dr. Ashley Darcy-Mahoney PhD, NNP-BC, FAAN


Background/Purpose: There continues to be a rise in workplace violence in healthcare, specifically in the form of bullying and incivility. Workplace bullying in nursing is a serious and concerning issue that has garnered increasing attention in recent years. It not only affects nurses in the form of staff turnover and burnout, but also poses risks to patient care and overall workplace morale. In Massachusetts, data collected on the prevalence of workplace violence shows an increase in incidence. There is a lack of regulation to guide organizational policies addressing incivility in the nursing work environment and ensure accountability.

Objective: The aim of this project is to conduct an analysis of existing policies related to incivility and bullying in the healthcare workplace. This analysis will inform a policy solution proposal to the American Nurses Association Membership Assembly Policy Development Committee to gain their support for an initiative to amend the Joint Commissions Workplace Violence Prevention Standards to include targeted language which addresses organizational accountability to decrease incivility and bullying in the nursing work environment.

Methods: The project design is a policy analysis and proposal utilizing the Centers for Disease Controls’ (CDC) Policy Process framework. The planned strategies include facilitating engagement with shareholders and opinion experts, collecting evidence, and demonstrate progress toward developing the proposed policy solution.

Results: An analysis of national, state, and regulatory policies related to workplace violence (WPV) in healthcare, which includes the subject of incivility and bullying, was conducted following the CDC Policy Analytical framework. A gap in the language specific to incivility and bullying in actions that combat WPV was found when exploring policies addressing incivility

and bullying. An amendment to the Joint Commission (TJC) standards for WPV is a possible policy solution to address this gap.

Conclusion: An official policy solution proposal addressing workplace incivility and bullying was submitted to the American Nurses Association Membership Assembly Policy Development Committee. The Membership Assembly sets the policies and positions for the American Nursing Association (ANA). The goal of the submitted proposal was to gain support of the ANA to lobby for the amendment of language to the TJC WPV standards.

Open Access




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