Here’s a brief interesting article that might be helpful for you: http://ccn.aacnjournals.org/content/23/5/72.full
I’m not sure how a poor bedside manner can be considered negligence (M.D.s, anyone?), especially since it didn’t cause any harm to the patient. Unless the patient argued emotional/mental harm, perhaps they have a (albeit weak) case? And if the prosecutor can claim and prove that therapeutic communication, as all nurses learn about in school, is a “standard of care.” It can get very tricky and I think it all depends on the circumstances, the nurse’s interpersonal history, etc. I think it would be very possible to prove incompetence on the nurse’s part for her lack of creating an emotionally therapeutic environment for the patient, however, I’m not sure how easy it would be to prove actual negligence.
Here is another interesting article from the same journal about incompetence and yes, creating a therapeutic environment is discussed: http://ccn.aacnjournals.org/content/29/1/12.full
Either way, it’s an interesting debate!