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Differences in Perceptions of Incivility Among Disciplines in Higher Education

Wagner, Becka EdD, RN, CNE; Holland, Cindra DNP, RN; Mainous, Rosalie PhD, RN; Matcham, William PhD, RN; Li, Gengxin PhD; Luiken, Jessica BSN, RN

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000611
Feature Articles

Background Incivility occurs in various forms in higher education and negatively affects teaching and learning outcomes. It has not been determined if incivility is more prevalent in one discipline than another.

Purpose The purpose of this study was to compare faculty and student perceptions of incivility across disciplines at a large public university.

Methods In this descriptive comparative study, a convenience sample of 156 faculty and 421 students completed the Incivility in Higher Education–Revised survey electronically.

Results The total sample was 577. Nursing reported the highest level of perceived incivility, with all other disciplines also reporting some level of incivility. Faculty perceived more incivility than students.

Conclusions With a national awareness of incivility in nursing education, this study shows that incivility also exists in other disciplines and is a starting point for addressing its impact on higher education.

Author Affiliations: Associate Professor (Dr Wagner), School of Nursing, Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH; and Associate Professor (Dr Holland), College of Nursing and Health, and Assistant Professor (Dr Li), Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Wright State University, Dayton, OH; Director of Academic Nursing Development (Dr Mainous), American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Washington, DC; Assistant Professor (Dr Matcham), School of Nursing, Cleveland State University, OH; and Staff RN (Ms Luiken), Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage, AK.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Wagner, 251 N Main St, Cedarville, OH 45314 (

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Accepted for publication: September 8, 2018

Published ahead of print: November 5, 2018

Online date: November 6, 2018

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