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Nurses involved in whistleblowing incidents: Sequelae for their families

      Summary

      Nurses involved in whistleblowing often face economic and emotional retaliation, victimization and abuse. Yet for many nurses, one major part of their whistleblowing experience is the negative impact it has on their families. This paper reports findings from a qualitative study pertaining to the effects of whistleblowing on family life from the perspective of the nurses. Using a narrative inquiry approach, fourteen nurses were interviewed who were directly involved in whistleblowing complaints. Data analysis drew out three themes: strained relationships with family members, dislocation of family life, and exposing family to public scrutiny. The harm caused to the nurses involved in a whistleblowing event is not restricted to one party but to all those involved, as the harrowing experience and its consequences are echoed in the family life as well. It is important for organizations to seek strategies that will minimize the harmful effects on nurses’ families during whistleblowing events.

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