Such acts are frequently insidious, continuing over periods of time that may be years. Bullies are often serial bullies. The bullies are invariably aware of the damage they are doing. They undertake such actions basically to gain control and power.
In 2003 the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association in the UK carried out a survey showing that half of health visitors, school nurses and community nurses working in the National Health Service (NHS) have been bullied by their managers. One in three of the 563 people questioned said the bullying was so bad they had to take time off work. Constant criticism and humiliation were the most common complaints. Others said they were shouted at or marginalised.
In order to further investigate and understand the impact of workplace bullying on the nursing work environment, an inventory was developed to address specific workplace bullying constructs within the nursing context.
Horizontal Violence  is often the same term used when referring to bullying in Nursing. This term describes the appalling behavior shown by colleagues in the nursing field. Such demeaning behavior makes the work place stressful and unpleasant. Another term associated with bullying in nursing is lateral violence. This term is used to describe the effect that bullying takes on someone lower down on the ladder of workforce, making it hard to climb that ladder.
Some health organisations are seeking to educate staff and health care team members on how to improve social interactions, proper business etiquette, and foster positive people skills in the work environment. Nurses are entitled to monetary compensation for bullying.
Hogh, Annie; Carneiro, Isabella Gomes; Giver, Hanne; Rugulies, Reiner (2011). "Are immigrants in the nursing industry at increased risk of bullying at work? A one-year follow-up study". Scandinavian Journal of Psychology52 (1): 49–56. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9450.2010.00840.x. PMID21054415.
Hutchinson, Marie; Vickers, Margaret; Jackson, Debra; Wilkes, Lesley (2006). "Workplace bullying in nursing: towards a more critical organisational perspective". Nursing Inquiry13 (2): 118–26. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1800.2006.00314.x. PMID16700755.
Hutchinson, Marie; Jackson, Debra; Wilkes, Lesley; Vickers, Margaret H. (2008). "A new model of bullying in the nursing workplace: organizational characteristics as critical antecedents". Advances in Nursing Science31 (2): E60–71. doi:10.1097/01.ANS.0000319572.37373.0c. PMID18497582.
Hutchinson, Marie; Wilkes, Lesley; Jackson, Debra; Vickers, Margaret H. (2010). "Integrating individual, work group and organizational factors: testing a multidimensional model of bullying in the nursing workplace". Journal of Nursing Management18 (2): 173–81. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2834.2009.01035.x. PMID20465745.
Hutchinson, Marie; Vickers, Margaret H.; Wilkes, Lesley; Jackson, Debra (2009). "'The Worse You Behave, The More You Seem, to be Rewarded': Bullying in Nursing as Organizational Corruption". Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal21 (3): 213–29. doi:10.1007/s10672-009-9100-z.
Johnston, Michelle; Phanhtharath, Phylavanh; Jackson, Brenda S. (2010). "The Bullying Aspect of Workplace Violence in Nursing". JONA's Healthcare Law, Ethics, and Regulation12 (2): 36–42. doi:10.1097/NHL.0b013e3181e6bd19.
Smith, Pam; Cowie, Helen (2010). "Perspectives on emotional labour and bullying: Reviewing the role of emotions in nursing and healthcare". International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion3 (3): 227–36. doi:10.1504/IJWOE.2010.032923.
Hutchinson, Marie; Vickers, Margaret H.; Jackson, Debra; Wilkes, Lesley (2004). "Bullying in nursing: introducing an Australian study". Proceedings of Leadership in the 21st Century: Association on Employment Practices and Principles (AEPP), Twelfth Annual International Conference. Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL., 7–9 August: Association on Employement Practices and Principles.