Structural equation modeling: Predictors of verbal abuse of registered nurses
Nurses experience verbal abuse as a nearly daily occurrence in the workplace. Sources of this abuse include patients and their families, visitors, physicians, managers and peers. A non-experimental, correlational study was undertaken to examine the contribution of latent constructs, individual characteristics and organizational characteristics, to the frequency with which registered nurses experience verbal abuse in the workplace. Several observed variables were identified to represent the latent constructs. Year in practice and position within the organization were the observed variables for the individual characteristics construct. Workplace aggression tolerance and violence prevention climate were the observed variables for the organizational characteristics construct. ANCC Magnet® status was an observed variable shared by both latent constructs.
The sample was composed of 256 registered nurses from the states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Participants were recruited through mailing lists from state Boards of Nursing and were asked to complete an anonymous survey. IRB approval was obtained for the study. Findings of the study indicated: 1. A statistically significant, moderately strong effect for the organizational characteristics construct and a non-significant weak effect for the individual characteristics construct on the outcome variable of verbal abuse frequency. 2. The four observed variables: years in practice; organizational position; workplace aggression tolerance; and violence prevention climate behaved as predicted and had moderately strong effects for the latent constructs. 3. ANCC Magnet® status did not behave as predicted and was not significantly related to either latent construct.The findings of the study indicated that verbal abuse of registered nurses may most effectively be reduced through attention to the characteristics or culture of the organization versus attempts to intervene with individual nurses.