Department of Conflict Resolution Studies Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Conflict Analysis & Resolution


College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

First Advisor

Urszula Strawinska-Zanko

Second Advisor

Robin Cooper

Third Advisor

Claire-Michele Rice


bullying, horizontal violence, hospital, intraprofessional conflict, registered nurse


By the year 2025, the nursing workforce shortage will exceed 500,000 registered nurses (RN). Hospitals will primarily experience this loss. The retention of RNs is a critical issue for hospitals, and studies about RNs leaving jobs in hospital nursing are essential to addressing the workforce shortage. Limited data exists about why RNs leave hospital nursing, other than job dissatisfaction. There is limited current data on whether horizontal violence, bullying, and intraprofessional conflict between RNs influence such decisions. This qualitative phenomenological study explored RNs’ experiences of horizontal violence, bullying, and intraprofessional conflict in hospital nursing. Findings suggest behaviors such as alienation, intimidation, sabotage, lack of intellectual respect, and failed professionalism contribute to horizontal violence and intraprofessional conflict among RNs in the hospital workplace. These findings may help develop strategies to educate healthcare teams and hospital administrative staff, and lobby for universal anti-horizontal violence and anti-bullying policies in hospitals. The findings highlight the need for conflict management training for RNs and healthcare workers, to facilitate intraprofessional communication and collaboration, and the need for further research.