I'm about half your "nursing age", but I've seen changes in the past 20 years alone. I can remember sitting around the table by the nursing station while charting and having to fend off the vapors of cigarette smoke from my fellow nurses. (Smoking was allowed inside the building)
I remember refusing to wear my nursing cap because all the older nurses who wore their hats were mean, and the newer nurses who didn't wear caps were nicer.
I remember being 'spoken to' by my nursing instructor in nursing school
because I didn't formulate a question to the doctor respectfully enough. NOW, I have to come right out and tell the doc what I want ordered, and I frequently have docs ask me what should be ordered.
They've invented a multitude of new diseases since I took Microbiology, but the chain of infection has not changed.
I remember working in a Skilled/Alzheimer's nursing type setting, and going from bed to bed to bed on 2 hourly rounds and untying restraints, repositioning patients, wiping butts, and then retying restraints. Practically EVERYBODY had a restraint on at night.
I remember less pharmacy involvement with meds, and waaay less narcs to count. We never used to count valium or ativan.....and so on. I could go on and on. I'll add some more later.
Best of luck with your book.