responding to your note by breaking it into two parts:
sexual harassment is an area that is well governed in the united states. there are federal and state laws that prohibit, and offer recourse to aggrieved persons. here is a good site to start:
your use of "maliciously harassing" implies a different sort of workplace violence often known as "horizontal violence." nursing, i think, is an area where this form is rampant, to the detriment of the profession.
to understand "horizontal violence," i suggest that you start with the book odd girl out
, by rachel simmons. this book can be found on half.com for about $3 plus postage. reading odd girl out helps understand the sort of aggression/harassment that can occur within the workplace that can be devastating, but which often stays in that "gray zone," of never quite rising to the level of illegality. our profession is predominantly female and female bullying is different than male bullying. a useful outcome of reading odd girl out is increased recognition, and insight into how to deal with it.
i predict that ignorance of this form of sub-illegal workplace violence will change over the next decade. rather than elaborate i suggest that you go to this fascinating site:
once there, back up to www.bullyonline.org
and you will see that in the united kingdom workplace bullying is taken quite seriously. you'll find information about the effects, and how to deal with it.
nursing ought to be a place where nurses treat each other with courtesy, respect and civility. often, though the percentage is small compared to the entire group, courtesy, and civility are not accorded. we all see it, and many of us see nurses struggle, or leave. rn's do it to lna's and lpn's do it to rn's, and lna's do it to rn's; the roots appear to be jealousy, anger, frustration, and plain meanness. what student nurse has not heard: "didn't they teach you anything..." that is a form of horizontal violence that is counter-productive, and destructive.
this is a wonderful area of study and research for a nurse, or nurse-to-be to continue through a master's program, and to a phd in nursing. identify and squash the covert horizontal violence that frequently appears in nursing and nursing will become a better place.