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‘Do other student nurses ever feel bullied?’


Can you advise this student nurse?

“Hello fellow student nurses!

“It’s amazing to have this platform to share our worries, a lot of the time I’m just worried that no-one else is going through the same thing so reading questions and responses is really reassuring.

“My current worry isn’t really a problem, I just want to know if I’m the only one who’s come across this and is bothered by it…

“Staff members who hate student nurses.

“I’m a third year so I’ve met my fair share of good and bad nurses but this is nothing to do with what they’re like as a nurse (or HCA), it’s about the fact that as a student I have to go out of my way to impress them when, really, I just want to get on with meeting my learning objectives!

“I’d even go so far as to say that some of them bully students. I’ve been point-blank ignored when I’ve introduced myself, literally locked out of the office (!) and criticised for wearing a cardigan (I’m mental health so we don’t wear uniform - but seriously, a cardigan?!). Mostly these staff members just seem to avoid students – that can be upsetting, but a lot of the time it’s just plain frustrating!

“I can laugh about the cardigan incident now but those little comments really make you feel unwelcome!

“Has anyone else had similar experiences?”

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

If you would like to post a question here, please contact We will publish first names only, but please let us know if you’d rather remain anonymous.


Readers' comments (19)

  • Yes, so badly in fact I was set up to faill in my final year and final terms, however I turned to the RCN and got the support I needed via a good rep, also a student nurse, who said not to feel threatened etc, they are people at the end of the day just like you or me. It stemmed too I believe from regular nurses at the time I'd be placed with, that I also did auxillary part time work with at weekends, some were true bullies alright. It's right too to use it as a learning tool and experience, of what not to do yourself when you qualify. And don't let them grind you down, most of the time it's due to jealousy, we were the first of the Bsc/Hons degree and there was resentment for sure. Also, back when a first year student and just having done our first placement, at one of our class sessions at nursing school, we were made aware via another student, of one male student having just left the course after his mentor bullied him, we all felt bad as he didn't turn for help or advice, just got put off and left, I am sure he'd have made a better nurse than that one that bullied him and put him right off.

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  • Bullying is in most jobs sadly, but probably worse in nursing, just to be aware. I commented here just now about my own experiences, it also led me to do my dissertation on it and pass, I dedicated it to the RCN who stood by me from when I turned to them for help. Running away was not an option for me, standing up to it and having it addressed was.

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  • Hello,
    I'm on a placement right now it's 8.51am, I start at 8.30 and the admin assistant has just made me cry. I am not a crier at all, I usually can stand my ground or hold in my opinions however I was in the office as she was on a call and she preceded to make nasty comments about me to a nurse she was speaking about on the phone, I asked her what I had done and she said I had an attitude, I have gone out of my way to win her and the team over, ive worked hard completed every task given to me but she always made comments. I think there are just people that a genuinely unkind and should not be in a care setting. The only thing to do is learn from these experiances and when you are qualified and have your own student you will treat them with the respect they deserve and support them as much as possible.

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  • I had a truly horrid placement in my third year, I had a mentor who really didn't want students and didn't really like the job herself. Instead of encouraging and advising she would often shout and complain. I had to take sick leave following this ordeal as I couldn't cope any longer, I actually started self-harming as she pushed me into a depressive state making me feel like I was useless and good for nothing. I never did report her but I held my head high when I went back after my sick leave and completed my course and graduated.

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  • Bullying getting confused with advice, guidance and feedback?

    If I even had the chance to receive any communication from my mentors in my first 2 placements I would have been happy, let alone getting feedback!

    Walking onto a ward where no one says hello to you despite painting on your best smile is soul destroying.

    I find that generalisation insulting. I know that all that complained of bullying (and yes, we had a few sadly) had good grounds. And no, it was because they interpreted guidance and feedback as bullying. They were bullied. And the nurses that do it should be called out on it.

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  • I'm so glad I've found this! I'm a first year student on my second placement and left my shift early today as the ward manager created a face off situation with bank staff. The bank nurse had been feeding me incorrect information and told me if I told tales on staff they wouldn't want to work with me. I've cried most of the day, I can usually handle conflict well but this was different and I felt the manager was exploiting me to try prove a point.

    In my first placement I raised concern over a member of staff's conduct and when I approached my personal tutor today she said that she can re-place me but isn't sure anything will meet my standards! I want to be a nurse abd realise that I have a choice to either keep my mouth closed for three years or fight every battle sbdvfeel exhausted. I pride myself on high standards and being told to lower them doesn't feel right. Of course everyone is different but to misinform or have a bad attitude is far from ideal in a caring profession.

    It really makes wonder about the culture of bullying, is this driving a decline in nurses? Why would anyone want to be a nurse if you're being bullied and the manager isn't there to support you?

    It takes courage to stand up to bullies, nobody should be made to feel they are wrong for doing so.

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  • We have similar issues here. We're not allowed to wear cardigans, even when it's really cold. Infection control, they say.
    And the senior sisters don't like it when we sit down, even for just a minute to rest our legs. They would report us to the school, saying we're lazy and sit all the time.

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  • My daughter is a 3rd year student nurse and started her final placement of the year yesterday. From the start a certain nursed criticised everything she did blamed her for doing things that another student did and constantly threatened her with failing her on her first day. Needless to say she was very upset. I advised her to talk to her CPC immediately and the cnm of the ward. I am fuming, she has got excellent feedback from all her other placements.

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