In the mix: Exploring why nurses eat their young

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, February 15, 2010

The Well blog in the New York Times this week explores an interesting and ever-present topic: why nurses bully each other, or "eat their young," as many nurses call it. In it, Seattle nurse, consultant, and author Kathleen Bartholomew is mentioned—she literally wrote the book on the topic, which might be worth checking out: Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility: Why Nurses Eat Their Young.

The blog explores the reasons behind such abusive behavior, in which a nurse will publicly berate another nurse or make a nurse's shift unreasonably tough. Blogger Theresa Brown, RN, suggests that while many nurses eventually learn to handle the stress of nursing, and others burn out and quit, a few burn out, stay, and fight back like "cornered animals."

What do you think of that idea? Have you encountered nurse-to-nurse hostility? What helps prevent it? Post a comment on and see what other nurses have to say on

Source: New York Times

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