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Civility expert Cynthia Clark publishes article on “next frontier in patient safety” in “Journal of Nursing Regulation”

Apr 24, 2019, 11:48 AM by Gina Kellogg
Cynthia M. Clark, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN, has spent her career researching the topic of civility. She has come to recognize that disrespectful and uncivil behaviors have negative repercussions with far-reaching consequences.

Most in the healthcare profession are personally familiar with the impact of incivility on morale and mental health. But fewer have taken into account the impact on patients. 

Now, in an article written by Dr. Clark, Strategic Nursing Advisor for ATI, in the Journal of Nursing Regulation, harm from disrespect is being cited as “the next frontier in patient safety efforts.” 

“Disrespectful and uncivil behaviors in healthcare settings can have detrimental effects on not only individuals, teams, and organizations, and patient safety,” the journal cites in the article’s abstract.” It goes on to explain that the impact on patients includes life-threatening mistakes, preventable complications, and harm to clients.

Dr. Clark’s article:

• Focuses on the impact of incivility on the patient care environment

• Explores ethical, legal, regulatory, and educational implications of workplace incivility

• Provides evidence-based strategies to promote a culture of civility and respect in healthcare.

A subscription is required to read the full article, “Fostering a culture of civility and respect in nursing,” and is accessible via the journal’s website at:

The Journal of Nursing Regulation is a peer-reviewed, academic/professional published quarterly in January, April, July and October. It provides a worldwide forum for sharing research, evidence-based practice, and innovative strategies and solutions related to nursing regulation and practice. It is the official publication of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN).

NCSBN is an independent, not-for-profit organization through which boards of nursing act and counsel together on matters of common interest and concern affecting public health, safety and welfare, including the development of nursing licensure examinations.

Dr. Clark is an award-winning, tenured professor, professor emeritus, and strategic nursing adviser for ATI Nursing Education. As a clinician, she specialized in adolescent mental health, substance abuse intervention and recovery, and violence prevention. She is the founder of Civility Matters™ and a leading expert in fostering civility and healthy work environments. Her pioneering work on fostering civility has brought national and international attention to the controversial issues of incivility in academic and work environments. Her theory-driven interventions, empirical measurements, theoretical models, and reflective assessments provide best practices to foster civility and healthy work environments around the globe.

Dr. Clark serves as a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the National League for Nursing Academy of Nursing Education, and co-chaired the American Nurses Association Professional Panel on Incivility, Bullying, and Workplace Violence. She is a prolific researcher, presenter, author; and professional blogger. Her presentations number in the hundreds and her publications have appeared in a broad range of peer-reviewed and open-access venues. She is the recipient of numerous teaching, research, and service awards; including the Most Inspirational Professor Award, the International Community-Campus Partnership for Health Award, and the prestigious Elizabeth Russell Belford Award for Excellence in Education, awarded by Sigma Theta Tau International. Her book, Creating and Sustaining Civility in Nursing Education, received 1st place honors as the 2013 AJN Book of the Year. The 2nd edition is now available and a must-read for all educators and health care professionals.

Dr. Clark’s current research includes examining effective ways to prepare nurses to address incivility in the practice setting; bridging the education-practice gap to create positive work cultures, designing and testing empirical instruments to measure and address incivility and to promote healthy work environments; and ongoing intervention studies including a biomarker study to measure the effectiveness of cognitive rehearsal and ‘scripting’ as a means to mitigate stress and protect patient safety. Dr. Clark’s empirical instruments have been translated into several languages and used to conduct studies in the United States, Israel, Iran, Indonesia, the Philippines, the People’s Republic of China, Malaysia, Jordan, Canada, Uganda, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Jamaica, Greece, and Columbia. She has served as a committee member and content expert for several graduate student studies, both nationally and internationally; many have used her empirical instruments in their doctoral dissertations, master’s theses, and other scholarly works.

Dr. Clark is also well known for her expertise in the area of scholarly teaching, learner-centered pedagogies, and active learning strategies. For several years, she has used live theater actors, simulation, and student-produced YouTube videos as active learning strategies to promote student engagement and deep learning. Her article on the use of live actors as a teaching strategy to address incivility in the practice setting published in Clinical Simulation in Nursing has been downloaded more than 3000 times by readers from the US, Turkey, Taiwan, China, Australia, Iran, and the UK since its release in June 2014. In her role as a Teaching Scholar for Faculty Learning Communities, Dr. Clark facilitated the development of several early career faculty members in their growth as scholarly educators and learner-centered teachers and has conducted numerous classroom assessments to assist faculty in improving their pedagogical approaches.