Background: Lateral violence is likely to exist in settings characterized by poor leadership and lack of clearly articulated roles, expectations, and processes that guide behavior.
Objectives: The purposes of this process improvement project were to (1) identify and improve baseline levels of nurse satisfaction and group cohesion through planned unit-based interventions, (2) determine the effect of a team-building intervention on factors that impact cohesive team functioning, and (3) determine the effect of lateral violence training and communication style differences in improving team cohesion.
Methods: The sample consisted of registered nurses (RNs) from 4 diverse patient care areas, chosen on the basis of low scores on the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) RN-RN interaction subscale. A quasi-experimental pre–post intervention design without a control group was employed. The intervention focused on lateral violence and team building. A qualitative component focused on the impact of the intervention on overall group dynamics and processes.
Results: RN scores on the Group Cohesion Scale (P = .037) and the RN-RN interaction scores improved postintervention. Group sessions focused on building trust, identifying and clarifying roles, engaging staff in decision making, role-modeling positive interactions, and holding each other accountable.
Conclusions: Key to a cohesive environment is an effective nurse manager able to drive and sustain change.