Horizontal violence is a form of workplace violence, a phenomenon that is prevalent in the nursing profession. Research has revealed a variety of negative peer-to-peer behaviors that lower morale and lead to turnover. However, little research has been conducted on “eating our young” (violence occurring between individuals with unequal power, such as staff nurse and student). We propose “vertical violence” as the appropriate term when abusive registered nurse (RN) behavior is directed towards students. We report a content analysis of stories written by junior nursing students about incidents of injustice perpetrated by staff RNs during their clinical experiences. Four levels of injustice were described. Nursing leadership, both in hospitals and educational institutions, must become engaged in efforts to eradicate vertical violence towards students.
Thomas, S.P., & Burk, R. (2009). Junior nursing students’ experiences of vertical violence during clinical rotations. Nursing Outlook, 57, 226-231.