Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Nursing




Dr. Pamela Galehouse

Committee Member

Dr. Marie Foley

Committee Member

Dr. Marian Turkel


nursing, nurse managers, caring, caritas, workplace bullying


This study examined the relationship between staff nurses’ perception of nurse manager caring behaviors and their perceived exposure to workplace bullying within multiple healthcare settings. It was based on the theoretical position that caring promotes reciprocal caring and healing for each other and for the larger universe as informed by Watson’s theory of human caring (1979, 2006, 2008). Results indicated a statistically significant, negative, linear relationship between the CFS-CM and the NAQ-R (r = -.534, p < .001), meaning that as staff nurses’ perceptions of their nurse manager caring increased, their perception of exposure to negative acts (meeting the definition of workplace bullying) significantly decreased. The sample consisted of primarily older, more experienced, staff nurses who worked 10 years or longer within their work environment. Data analysis also revealed that staff nurses who were females and those who worked in Medical/Surgical settings were significantly more likely to perceive their managers as caring (p < .05 respectively) and that a high workload significantly influenced the staff nurses perception of exposure to workplace bullying (p < .05). In view of the predicted nursing shortages as baby-boomer nurses retire at the same time the demand for health care is rising (AACN, 2009), these findings highlight the importance of caring leadership for the health and availability of nurses at the bedside, and may lead to shifting work priorities for nurse managers. Study findings may also foster the design and implementation of a caring curriculum and caring competencies applicable for the nurse managers’ role either within nursing academic or clinical settings.