Systems Perspective for Incivility in Academia: An Integrative Review

Ann M. Stalter, Janet M. Phillips, Jeanne S. Ruggiero, Carol Wiggs, Josette Brodhead, Kathleen Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


AIM: The purpose of this integrative review was to identify evidence of systems thinking on civility in academic settings. BACKGROUND: Incivility is present in academic systems, including nursing education. What is learned in academia translates to the workplace. Systems-based solutions may promote quality and safety in health care. METHOD: Whittemore and Knafl's integrative approach guided this study. RESULTS: Forty-nine articles were reviewed. Themes emerged describing incivility in nursing as embedded within layers of a performance-driven, oppressive hostile bureaucracy, trickling down, instilling fear, and reinforcing uncivil behavior among and between members. Other themes defined faculty-to-faculty and faculty-to-student incivilities, reasons for it, reactions to it, and suggestions for improved civility. CONCLUSION: The systems awareness model is offered as a means of promoting civility in nursing education. A lack of evidence to support how incivility in academia transfers to quality and safety in practice settings is identified as a gap for future study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalNursing education perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education

Cite this

Stalter, A. M., Phillips, J. M., Ruggiero, J. S., Wiggs, C., Brodhead, J., & Swanson, K. (2019). Systems Perspective for Incivility in Academia: An Integrative Review. Nursing education perspectives, 40(3), 144-150.