American Journal of Nursing Research. 2016, 4(3), 56-68
DOI: 10.12691/AJNR-4-3-2
Original Research

How Nurse Educators Cope with Incivility

Michele Pyles1,

1Louisiana State University-LSU School of Nursing New Orleans United States of America

Pub. Date: September 14, 2016

Cite this paper

Michele Pyles. How Nurse Educators Cope with Incivility. American Journal of Nursing Research. 2016; 4(3):56-68. doi: 10.12691/AJNR-4-3-2


Background: Research has clearly defined the issue of nursing student incivility, with evidence that nursing students are engaging in uncivil behaviors on a routine basis [1,2,3,4]. Stress, like that experienced with incivility, impacts an individual’s perception of an uncivil encounter and has been linked to the development of negative coping responses [5]. Methods: A mixed-methods convergent parallel design was used to collect data from 39 nurse educators who were employed at 3 schools of nursing in the southern region of the United States. Creswell [6] described the design as “combining elements of both qualitative and quantitative approaches” (p. 3). The convergent method of the design allowed the researcher to collect both quantitative and qualitative data, conduct separate analyses, and compare the results. A mixed-methods convergent parallel design was appropriate for this study because it supported the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping [7], which formed the foundation for the study. The model purports that individuals conduct a primary appraisal of the significance or threat of a stressful encounter (e.g., challenging, positive, controllable, stressful, or irrelevant). If the encounter is perceived to be threatening, a secondary appraisal will follow, which will activate an individual’s coping mechanisms. The design allowed the researcher to determine the coping responses used by nurse educators when facing uncivil encounters with nursing students....


coping, nurse educator, nursing student, perceptions


Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Clark, C. (2008a). Faculty and student assessment of and experience with incivility in nursing education. Journal of Nursing Education, 47(10), 458-465.
[2]  Clark, C. M., & Springer, P. J. (2007). Thoughts on incivility: Student and faculty perceptions of uncivil behavior in nursing education. Nursing Education Perspectives, 28(2), 93-97.
[3]  Luparell, S. (2007). The effects of student incivility on nursing faculty. Journal of Nursing Education, 46(1), 15-19.
[4]  Luparell, S. (2008). Incivility in nursing education: Let’s put an end to it. Retrieved from
[5]  Folkman, S., Lazarus, R. S., Dunkel-Schetter, C., DeLongis, A., & Gruen, R. (1986). Dynamics of a stressful encounter: Cognitive appraisal, coping, and encounter outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 50(5), 992-1003.
[6]  Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
[7]  Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York, NY: Springer.
[8]  Clark, C. M., Barbosa-Leiker, C., Gill, L. M., & Nguyen, D. (2015). Revision and psychometric testing of the Incivility in Nursing Education (INE) survey: Introducing the INE-R. Journal of Nursing Education, 54(6), 306-315.
[9]  Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1988). The relationship between coping and emotion: Implications for theory and research. Social Science Medicine, 26(3), 309-317.
[10]  Vance, T. (2003). Caring and professional practice of nursing. Journal of Nursing, March, 2003: Times Publishing. Retrieved from
[11]  Altmiller, G. (2012). Student perceptions of incivility in nursing education: Implications for educators. Nursing Education Perspectives, 33(1), 15-20.
[12]  Luparell, S. (2004). Faculty encounters with uncivil nursing students: An overview. Journal of Professional Nursing, 20(1), 59-67.
[13]  Sprunk, E. A., LaSala, K. B., & Wilson, V. A. (2014). Student incivility: Nursing faculty lived experience. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(9), 1-12.
[14]  Cortina, L. M., & Magley, V. J. (2009). Patterns and profiles of response to incivility in the workplace. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14(3), 272-288.
[15]  Ganske, K. (2010). Moral distress in academia. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 15(3), 1.
[16]  Lim, S., Cortina, L. M., & Magley, V. J. (2008). Personal and workgroup incivility: Impact on work and health outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(1), 95-107.
[17]  Valentine, P. (1995). Management of conflict: Do nurses/women handle it differently? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 22(1), 142-149.
[18]  Clark, C. (2009). Faculty field guide for promoting student civility in the classroom. Nurse Educator, 34(5), 194-197.
[19]  Lazarus, R. S. (1999). Stress and emotion: A new synthesis. New York: Springer.
[20]  Aquino, K., Tripp, T. M., & Bies, R. J. (2001). How employees respond to personal offense: The effects of blame attribution, victim status, and offender status on revenge and reconciliation in the workplace. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(1), 52-59.
[21]  Bradfield, M., & Aquino, K. (1999). The effects of blame attributions and offender likableness on forgiveness and revenge in the workplace. Journal of Management, 25(5), 607-631.
[22]  Cortina, L. M., Magley, V. J., Williams, J. H., & Langhout, R. D. (2001). Incivility in the workplace: Incidence and impact. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 6(1), 64-80.
[23]  Fitzgerald, L. F. (1990, March). Assessing strategies for coping with harassment: A theoretical/empirical approach. Paper presented at the midwinter conference of the Association for Women in Psychology, Tempe, AZ.
[24]  Almost, J., Doran, D. M., McGillis Hall, L., & Spence Laschinger, H. K. (2010). Antecedents and consequences of intra - group conflict among nurses. Journal of Nursing Management, 18(8), 981-992.
[25]  Cox, R. W. (1981). Social forces, states and world orders: Beyond international relations theory. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 10(2), 126-155.
[26]  Bono, J. E., & Judge, T. A. (2003). Core self-evaluations: A review of the trait and its role in jog satisfaction and job performance. European Journal of Personality, 17: S5-S18.
[27]  Leatt, P., & Schneck, R. (1981). Nursing subunit technology: A replication. Administrative Science Quarterly, 26(2), 225-236.
[28]  Cumbey, D. A., & Alexander, J. W. (1998). The relationship of job satisfaction with organizational variables in public health nursing. Journal of Nursing Administration, 28, 39-46.
[29]  Roch, S. G., & Shanock, L. R. (2006). Organizational justice in an exchange framework: Clarifying organizational justice dimensions. Journal of Management, 32, 299-322.
[30]  Cox, K. B. (2004). The intra-group conflict scale: Development and psychometric properties. Journal of Nursing Measurement, 12(2), 133-146.
[31]  Marsh, Herbert W.; Balla, John R.; McDonald, Roderick P.Goodness-of-fit indexes in confirmatory factor analysis: The effect of sample size.Psychological Bulletin, 103(3), 391-410.
[32]  Rahim, M. A. (1983). Measurement of organizational conflict. Journal of General Psychology, 109, 189-199.
[33]  Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., & Mermelstein, R. (1983). A global measure of perceived stress. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24(4), 385-396.
[34]  Tidd, S. T., & Friedman, R. A. (2002). Conflict style and coping with role conflict: An extension in the uncertainty model of work stress. International Journal of Conflict Management, 13, 236-257.
[35]  Friedman, R. A., Tidd, S. T., Currall, S. C., & Tsai, J. C. (2000). What goes around comes around: The impact of personal conflict style on work conflict and stress. International Journal of Conflict Management, 11, 32-55.
[36]  Pearson, C. M., & Porath, C. L. (2005). On the nature, consequences and remedies of workplace incivility: No time for “nice'? Think again. The Academy of Management Executive, (1). 7.
[37]  Clark, C. (2004). The incivility in nursing education survey (INE). Civility Matters Research Instruments. Retrieved from matters/research-instr.htm.
[38]  Clark, C. (2008b). The dance of incivility in nursing education as described by nursing faculty and students. Advances in Nursing Science, 31(4), E37-E54.
[39]  Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K., & Lewis, F.M. (2002). Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco: Wiley & Sons.
[40]  American Nurses Association. (2015). Position statement on violence in healthcare. Retrieved from