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RESPECT Initiative


Recognize that every opinion is valuable

Express and receive feedback without making it personal

Stop collusion, direct the issue back to the owner

Practice authentic listening

Encourage discussion of ideas and issues, not people

Celebrate each other's successes

Treat others as they wish to be treated

The groundwork for the KU School of Nursing RESPECT Initiative was laid in the fall of 2010 with a nursing continuing education program addressing civility issues in the academic work place.  This program was requested by faculty and financially supported by the Dean of the School. 

Evaluations from the programs were very positive.  The presenter provided rationale, strategies, suggestions and a roadmap to further develop and implement processes for creating our desired future as it relates topromoting a positive work environment

The preliminary step suggested was the initiation of continued dialog for the purpose of developing a code of conduct for faculty, students and staff, integrating actions and language into syllabi and the operational fabric of the School that provide clear expectations about professional conduct.

To this end, the Positive Work Environment for All (PWEFA) Work Group, comprised of eight KU School of Nursing faculty and staff members, convened periodically from fall 2010 through spring 2012 in effort to establish a course for the school. The RESPECT Initiative was developed from these discussions and vetted through the faculty assembly and various leadership groups in our school.  As faculty, students and staff, we strive to incorporate these guidelines into our interactions with others, regardless of medium.

Use of and/or reference to the RESPECT graphic and guidelines should include one of the citations below:

APA (6th Ed.)
University of Kansas School of Nursing. (2012). RESPECT initiative
Retrieved from 

AMA (10th Ed.)
University of Kansas School of Nursing. RESPECT Initiative Web site. Accessed <Month, Year>.

"Badge Buddies" available!

Incoming School of Nursing students receive these new "badge buddies" at orientation. Made from lightweight plastic, these RESPECT pieces will fit nicely with your KU identification badge.

An example of the badge buddy cards available to faculty, staff and students and including all 7 statements for the acronym(image)


Why the RESPECT program was created

  • Civility issues in education and nursing
  • Desired future for University of Kansas School of Nursing
  • Support from Dean of the School of Nursing
  • Positive Work Environment for All Work Group developed

Examples of Incivility

  • Negative Innuendo (e.g. raising eyebrows, face-making, body language, other forms of non-verbal communication)
  • Covert or Overt Negative Communication (e.g. snide remarks, withholding information, abrupt responses, emails in all caps)
  • Undermining Activities (e.g. not available to help, turning away when asked for help)
  • Sabotage (e.g. deliberately setting up a negative situation)
  • Bickering Among Peers
  • Scapegoating (e.g. always assigning blame to one person when things go wrong)
  • Backstabbing (e.g. complaining to others about one individual)
  • Failure to Respect the Privacy of Others (e.g. gossip/talking about others without their permission)
  • Broken Commitments and/or Broken Confidences (e.g. repeating something that was meant to be kept confidential

Examples of Being Unprofessional

  • Failure to respond to instructor communication
  • Removal from clinical site/ Asked to leave the clinical setting/Asked to not return to clinical site
  • Consistent disregard for assignment expectations (deadlines, format/adherence to guidelines, APA formatting, grammar, etc.)
  • Disrespect for authority
  • Inappropriate postings to social network sites that include information about clinical site, patients, and/or preceptors
  • Unexcused absences in class or clinical
  • Disruptive behavior of any kind in class
  • Chronic tardiness
  • Failure to prepare for class
  • Regularly leaving class early without making arrangements with the instructor
  • Failure to attend required examinations when scheduled

How to be Professional AND Civil? RESPECT!

Last modified: Apr 14, 2021

Questions about the RESPECT initiative?

Please contact the Office of the Dean: