Is there a generation gap in nursing? We jokingly refer to it as the ‘seasoned’ nurse versus the ‘young’ nurse, but I think it unfortunately is becoming quite the barrier in our profession.
Ever heard these statements before:
Those new tech-savvy young nurses don’t understand or appreciate what it ‘used to be like’. They don’t understand what hard work is. They haven’t grasped how good they got it. They’re always in a darn hurry.
And those old never-gonna-change nurses can’t accept that the way they used to do things is not always the best way. They are stubborn and can’t stop living in the past. They need to pick up the pace.
OK. I may have embellished just a tad. I apologize for my satirical attitude, it sometimes gets me into trouble. No harm intended -honestly. I only pose these questions to you because whether we like it or not this barrier exists and it’s getting in the way of progress. We’re all nurses here, and we have to find a common ground.
This post was sparked by a conversation on Twitter last night during the weekly #RNchat. If you’re not familiar with Twitter or #RNchat please hop on over to this link and read a bit : http://rnchat.org/. Let’s just say it’s all kinds of awesome. A great place to learn, socialize, grow, connect and collaborate with some of your fellow professionals from all over the world! It’s truly amazing the commonality we as professionals share once you get to talking with them. I highly recommend getting on Twitter and checking out #RNchat (I think they have been meeting every Thursday @ 9pm EST). OK, enough of the plugging and promoting.
Denying that this barrier exists is not going to fix the problem. Ignoring the problem only makes it stronger. I think we need to start talking about it more, actively sparking dialog, and start sifting through the ‘garbage’ out there to make some real progress at eliminating this negativity.
The truth is the ‘new nurses’ need to realize and appreciate where the profession started and how the profession may progress, but the way we care for our patients never changes. The ‘old nurses’ need to accept that change is the only guaranteed element in our profession and that progress does not mean the care we give will change. I mean lets be honest here, why are we even using these damn labels?
Knowledge is the ultimate playing card, and anything that enhances our hand has to be a good thing. We need to stop drawing the lines in the sand, and start erasing them! Teamwork and unity will trump singularity and taking sides any day.
What do you think folks? Am I delusional? I always love to hear your thoughts.