HUG endorsed NURSE.



In response to a large amount of anecdotal evidence here and on other social media platforms pointing to some serious issues around toxic culture and bullying in our workspaces I wrote a set of HUG competencies with the intent of providing a way to voice our determination to end this situation.

And it is not just bullying. For a profession that places so much responsibility into the hands of nurses….and then expects them to work faultlessly under conditions of tremendous pressure, we really have not invested the required time to develop ways to care for the caregivers.

The ball has been dropped at both organisational and individual levels.

Developing a culture of respect and mutual support:

Now you could implement in-services and programs and workshops and discussion groups to explore these issues. You can develop strong guidelines for the management of bullying behaviour. You can work on ways to improve your local work ethic and culture. And we need to do all these things.
But I just thought we needed something to unfold from the bedside, where the clinical rubber meets the road.

I thought perhaps we should just hug each other. That is a start.

Here are the HUG endorsed NURSE competency standards.
You can download them here as a pdf flyer.


Now plenty of nurses have said… well hang on here just a moment. Hugging each other is no answer to these problems. This idea is  just silly.
Besides, its unprofessional. Its….creepy.

But there is a lot more behind this little badge than just hugging.
Hugging is an act. It is also an attitude.

The physical act of hugging is just a seal. An outward display of our commitment to jam any bullying or toxic culture that we experience, and instead commit to replacing it with a sustained space of mutual support and respect.

We will  provide emotional, physical and intellectual support to our colleagues when it is needed. And to seek out those same supports without fear of being seen as a lesser nurse when we are in need.

The badge:

The response to that initial post was encouraging. So I decided to make up some badges for nurses to wear to show that they were committed to this culture change. To date I have sent out 250 badges to nurses all over Australia.

By wearing the badge, others can see our commitment to culture change.


As I have said before, I am not a huggy type person. But I have been working on changing that. And after many competency assessments, I can report that a simple heartfelt hug from a colleague does make a big difference. Seriously.

How you can help:

So you would like to help be an engaged participant in culture change?

You can help by doing 3 things:

  1. Taking up the HUG competencies in your own nursing practice.
  2. Promote the idea by printing out the flyer and using it strategically to promote discussion in your own workspace.
  3. By ordering a HUG badge and wearing it with a sliver of pride and a dollop of attitude.

I am sorry but I am struggling to keep up with orders of HUG badges myself but….

For those units or groups of nurses who would like to support this project (or for groups of nurses overseas….where I just cannot afford postage) here is some information on how you can order your own HUG badges in bulk.

Order your own HUG badges:

Anyone wanting to direct order a lager volume of HUG badges for their own workplace go here:

Place your order (min of 50 badges) for the 32mm badges then quote the order number 13503 in the order comments section of the checkout to get the Hug Nurse design.
You can also use the code CHIFLEY2017 at checkout for 10% off the regular price.

Walk through:

  1. Follow the link.
  2. Go straight to: Add to Cart.
  3. Add the coupon code CHIFLEY2017 for discount
  4. Proceed to checkout. And checkout as guest.
  5. Fill billing details
  6. Choose shipping method.
  7. Important: Enter “Use Order number 13503 for badge design”
  8. Proceed to checkout.