Do you see a generational gap in nursing? - page 2

by egglady

I don't know if it is just me, or just where I work, but I am seeing a major generational gap between nurses. The ones in their mid 20's just seem to be lacking a work ethic. I am not an old foggie, I am 43. the newer gals just... Read More


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    I saw a news segment about this, probably when the economy was better, and it said that the younger generation expects to be
    told how wonderful they are, and if the current employer doesn't tell them that, they will just quit and move down the street to another one that does tell them how wonderful they are.

    Generational differences at work
    Esme12 likes this.
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    I'm 25, and I'm not at all offended by what the OP said nor do I think she is old. OP you are spot on. My generation and younger has an entitlement problem. I have an illustration. A silly illustration, but hear me out. I had a 28-year-old roommate who refused to wash dishes because it chapped his hands (no dishwasher, had to wash by hand). He refused to clean the bathroom because he couldn't stand the cleaner smell. He refused to mow the lawn because his knees were bad. He refused to vacuum because he, and I quote, didn't "see the need". So in other words, he had lots of excuses that he totally believed were valid - he wasn't just trying to be a punk, he really believed he had a right to not do chores because he had valid reasons not to. Entitlement. That was his problem - he was entitled. Instead of doing what, for example, my parents' or grandparents' generations would have done, sucked it up and dealt with it, he just said, I'm not going this, I'm not doing that. It didn't occur to him that SOMEONE was going to HAVE to do those chores, whether or not they liked it because he refused to do his share.

    That's what my generation is like. It's all about ME. Whatever is BEST for ME. And the reason it is so pervasive is because the rest of us just say, fine, I will do this, I will do that. I will pick up the slack. My mom did that when I was growing up - she would ask me so many times to do my chores and I would constantly say, later, I'll do it later. But I wouldn't. And so she would finally just do them, because they had to be done. I feel bad that I acted that way and it's certainly not my mom's fault, but looking back on it, my mom shouldn't have tolerated that. She should never have done my work - my own fair share of the work. But that's her generation - the work ethic of her generation and my grandparents' generation is just stellar. Whereas the ethic of my generation sucks, because we were, speaking in GENERAL terms, coddled and allowed to be lazy.

    Are we ALL like that? No! Of course not. I am not. I know a few others my age who have good work ethic, but by and large, the people I meet my age fall very short of impressing me with their work ethic. And by and large, the older people I meet tend to have good work ethic, but there are a few who don't. Those of us who do work hard don't need to be offended by the fact that many of our peers don't work hard - you are not them, and the OP never said that every single 20-something has a bad work ethic. She was speaking generally about a trend she had noticed, a valid trend, as evident by the fact that we are even discussing this.
    OgopogoLPN, FlyingScot, Esme12, and 11 others like this.
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    I won't agree that all 20-somethings are like this. I'm on the "younger" side, I suppose (I'm 30, although I FEEL like an old fart ), and I work with several younger nurses, most of whom have a great work ethic. It's very refreshing. I see the entitlement attitude in the age group behind these young nurses....those that are preteens and teenagers now.

    For me, I've worked since I was 15, and did babysitting and had a paper route from age 12. In those days, a paper route involved getting up at the crack of dawn EVERY weekend morning! I kept it until I was able to get a part time job, along with spending my summers babysitting full time. I've only ever known working, my dad was STRICT with money and wouldn't even "lend" us kids 50 cents for a soda without charging interest (if he did it at all...his favorite line was, "how do I know when I'm going to be paid back?"....seriously!). I wasn't involved with after school activities, because I had to get to work right after school....in fact, I think I missed out on a lot (but I needed to earn money if I wanted anything!). I had to get my own school loans and work while I was in college, hence having an ADN rather than a BSN (my dad never helped me out with anything, and my mom couldn't afford to). It makes me appreciate where I am, though.

    I don't think it's wrong if kids DON'T have part time jobs in order TO participate in after school activities, but most these days don't learn the value of working and earning what you have, everything is handed to them. This translates in to the kind of "adult" employees they become, they feel they "deserve" so much because they've never learned any differently. My nephew plays football, so this takes up a lot of his afternoon time (he isn't old enough to work at all yet, but it would be hard for him when he does get to that age). However, he knows that if he wants some extra money to buy something, he has to earn it...he'll mow my lawn for 5 or 10 bucks, for example. He knows he has to save those earnings to buy something "big" (his most recent purchase was an iTouch, earned with several chores, birthday money, etc). More kids need to be taught this, I think, in order to become good employees when they join the workforce.
    SandraCVRN likes this.
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    Quote from HouTx

    So - I don't think there is anything wrong with 20-somethings. They are the natural end-product of the environment in which they were raised. Unfortunately, today's work place is harsher and more unforgiving than ever, so there's an unprecedented mis-match between their expectations and the reality of today's work place. IMHO, They are faced with more reality shock than any previous generation of new grads.
    I like the way you said that.

    But I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel. A lot of the college-age students I speak seem to be more realistic. They see their older brothers and sisters struggle to find and keep good jobs and don't want to make the same mistakes. With any luck, the "entitled generation" will be a small one -- and many of them will learn to survive in the real world if given a little time and a second chance.
    Esme12 likes this.
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    i am a new nurse, in my early 20s and during my first orientation to my new job as an rn we had a lecture on generational gaps...and it's true, they do exist but not because of the "we're lazy" excuse.

    my generation, the millenia generation, grew up in a setting where our parents worked hard, were never home with the kids. our generation have decided that our family is more important than our work and i will not be a slave to my work. if i call in sick, it's not cause i'm hung over, lazy, or feel i've done enough....it's cause i want to be with my family.

    i work to live; not live to work.
    TheSquire, felineRN, and esperanzita like this.
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    Quote from cwhitebn
    i am a new nurse, in my early 20s and during my first orientation to my new job as an rn we had a lecture on generational gaps...and it's true, they do exist but not because of the "we're lazy" excuse.

    my generation, the millenia generation, grew up in a setting where our parents worked hard, were never home with the kids. our generation have decided that our family is more important than our work and i will not be a slave to my work. if i call in sick, it's not cause i'm hung over, lazy, or feel i've done enough....it's cause i want to be with my family.

    i work to live; not live to work.
    while i appreciate the not calling in due to being hungover, for me, if i call in sick, it's because i'm sick, not because i'm playing hooky. i have more respect for my coworkers and patients than that....and it's not about putting your job before your family. if you have a reason for being with your family on a day you're scheduled, find someone to cover for you.
    OCNRN63, happy2learn, nursel56, and 7 others like this.
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    My 27 year old husband works as supervisor and complains about the young ppl and their lack of work ethic. These young ppl are 5-10 years older than he is!
    As a 28 year old, I see individuals of all ages that have poor work ethic. I can think of many young people blthat work hard and go above and beyond what is expected. But I do see some of the entitled attitudes as well.
    I am not offended by the writer's post. Often it only takes 1 or 2 examples to stand out and ruin the image of a whole group. Now if someone could just get 30 somethings to go into their patients' rooms more than twice in a 12 hour shift... LOL (sorry been working with 1 nurse too many shifts).
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    Quote from egglady
    ...They do not understand that it has taken many of us more than 10 years to get full time, or day shift, ...
    Wow, I must say that's a lot of waiting for FT or days.
    esperanzita likes this.
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    I suspect that the younger people have a different attitude towards the importance of work in their life.
    I am old enough to remember the "company man". Any of you out there remember them? You would finish school, join a company and work really hard for the company, and the company would give you lifetime employment, lots of training and if you were ambitious, your ambitions might be rewarded.
    Those days are gone, and the younger people have never experienced them or the mutual loyalty and work ethic that went with it.
    aKyRN81, TheSquire, nursel56, and 9 others like this.
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    "I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly disrespectful and impatient of restraint." ~ Hesiod 700 B.C.

    There are plenty of hard workers, young and old, and there are plenty of slackers, young and old.
    RNJess10, TheSquire, MInurse.st, and 9 others like this.


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