Nurse Currents: Disruptive Behaviors in the Workplace: No Longer Tolerated

Program Date: September 2009
Continuing Education Units: 1.0 Nurse Contact Hour

Course Description:

In January 2009, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) began requiring all hospitals to establish a code of conduct and have an action plan to deal with disruptive, hostile, and inappropriate behaviors. As this article will illustrate, there are consequences of “bad behavior” in the healthcare industry that impact the victims, the institutions, and ultimately the patients whom we serve. This is not the first time (nor will it be the last) that JCAHO required hospitals to develop tools to assess specific areas of concern.

Course Objectives:

  • Define inappropriate workplace behavior.
  • Identify the potential consequences of disruptive behaviors.
  • List AACN’s essential elements for establishing and maintaining a healthy work environment.
  • Media Format(s): Print (English)

Course Instructor Bio(s)

Sandra L. Gardner, RN MS CNS PNP


Sandra L. Gardner, RN, MS, CNS, PNP, is Director of Professional Outreach Consultation, a national and international consulting firm established in 1980. Ms Gardner is also co-director and founder of Nurse’s Professional Development and Practice Association, LLC, (NPDPATM).

Ms. Gardner’s writing achievements include a wide variety of articles, pamphlets, chapters, and book reviews. She is co-editor with Gerald B. Merenstein, M.D., of Handbook of Neonatal Intensive Care, 6th edition, 2006. She has co-edited with Mary Hagedorn a book entitled Legal Aspects of Maternal Child Nursing Practice, 1997. She is on the editorial board of Neonatal Network, and the Pre & Perinatal Psychology Journal.

Ms. Gardner is an active member of the Colorado Nurses Association/American Nurses Association, the National Association of Neonatal Nurses and The Academy of Neonatal Nursing. She is a founding member of the Colorado Perinatal Care Council, a state advisory council to the Governor and the State Health Department on perinatal/neonatal health care issues.

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Vivian Brown, RNC


Vivian Brown, RNC, has extensive experience in obstetrical nursing, including many dedicated years working in labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care, and Mother/Baby settings. She is a Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) instructor, and teaches classes for hospital perinatal orientation. As a breastfeeding educator, Vivian mentors staff and mothers about breastfeeding concerns and established a hospital milk bank. She served as the NICU educator, guiding experienced and new graduate nurses along the novice to expert continuum. In this role, she developed neonatal policy and procedures and acted as unit representative and leader of the NICU clinical practice team for 16 years. Vivian has served in leadership roles for her hospital network on the Perinatal Specialty Council and in the Nursing Practice Congress.

Vivian is a co-owner of Nurse’s Professional Development and Practice Association, LLC (NPDPA). The mission of NPDPA is to provide evidence-based educational opportunities, products, tools, services, and consultation to standardize, direct and improve nursing care. Vivian is an active member of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, and is the former president of the Heart of Texas NANN Chapter. Twice honored as Perinatal Nurse of the Year by her hospital peers, Vivian was nominated as one of the Austin, Texas Top Five Nurses of the Year for the Texas Nurse’s Association in 2000.

Vivian attended The University of Texas at Arlington as a nursing student, graduated from Fayetteville Technical College in Fayetteville North Carolina in 1981, and currently is a student in the RN to MSN nursing program at Excelsior College in New York.


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