how can you compare salaries without taking inflation into account?* (location was also not mentioned, but perhaps salaries did not vary as much across the country as they do today.)
if a nurse made $5,200/year in 1966, that's the same as 34,785 today. not such an overwhelming gain. (at our local hospital, new grads start at 18.30/hr, which is 34,258/yr based on a 36-hr week. this starting pay has not changed in 12+ years, considering inflation). i don't think we can be very proud of that "improvement" (the author did not mention if the quoted salary was starting pay; in any case, i'm not that impressed, especially if you consider how much more responsibility and higher acuity pt loads nurses have today).
the other nursing salary quoted - $2,100 in 1946 - is the same as 23,341 today. so yes, there was a significant increase in the 20 years from 1946-1966, but certainly not in the 44 years from 1966-2010!
*it's very easy to do, just use this inflation calculator. http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl