This is my own personal experience as to why nurses eat their own? I have been in nursing for 20+ years. I've watched a lot of nurses come and go and some trying to move up that corporate food chain leaving a path of destruction a mile wide in their path. It's a very sad thing to have witnessed nursing go from a caring environment to a volatile, stressful, "me" environment.
I personally have never thrown anyone under the bus but I have been thrown under the bus by a nurse trying to move up. I was shocked, not to be naive but how callus and calculating this nurse had become in such a short period of time. She was a new grad. I took her under my wing, taught her in a specialty area just to be told shortly thereafter that there were going to be cuts in this area, and I was one of the people being cut along with approximately 20 more nurses. I then found out that my underling I had taught was at the helm of helping administration make these cuts based on who had been there longest, made the most per hour and new grads or new hires would be cheaper. So it was done and my underling moved up to an office of ease while the rest of us were dispersed throughout the facility or some even let go destroying lives and careers.
Once moved to another area of the facility I witnessed a male nurse dating several other female nurses turning them against each other and ending up dating a charge nurse that was best friends with the manager of that department, so they were allowed to cuddle up at the nurses' station and pretty much did nothing else other than sneak outside. Yes all of this was reported by others than myself, however administration didn't care, bottom line was man hours not pt care.
I've since left that facility after many years. I am now at a new facility and have already picked up on the "eager" young nurses more than willing to talk behind other nurses' backs. This is disappointing. The nursing school and instructors of old that I had the privilege of going to and being taught by would be appalled and would not have tolerated for one moment. Is loyalty, character and earning your title without harming something taught in nursing schools? Should certain psychiatric characters be red flags for school administrators be implemented to prevent cannibalism within nursing?
I feel as if those great women who pioneered nursing to care for the sick, indigent and wounded would be so saddened by the "General Hospital", "Grays Anatomy"; "high school acting" nurses of today. On that note I don't want to diminish the fact that nurses have to be go-getters, usually type A, hungry for knowledge; however there's a professional line where we should have each other's back.
Nurses go to college to achieve a degree of higher learning along with all the nursing classes. You're professionals, intellectuals. Would you compromise your name, integrity and reputation for a easier schedule, a desk job, an office? All you have to do is help relocate or terminate 20 to 25 fellow nurses?
I am curious to the opinions of others, so please post. BTW this underling was moved back down the food chain and eventually out the door and with no friends or references to rely on now.
Before going down this road ask yourself. Why did I become a nurse? To help others who need it or to eat my young? If you answer or turn into the later, I fear you may be in the wrong profession...