Actually, I graduated from nursing school in the 60's and have seen many changes. Some changes upset me. Being of the "old school" so-to-speak, I hated to see white uniforms & nursing caps
go "by the wayside". I am certain that all of you younger nurses love the colorful scrubs
(and I have a closetfull myself), but most new graduates say they are glad they don't have to wear a cap. I, among many others in my era, were proud & honored when we had our capping ceremonies. The epitome of what a nurse should look like used to be a starched white uniform, white stockings, white shoes and a nursing cap designed by her schcol of nursing. However,I still feel, since I went to nursing school in the era where nurses still looked like nurses, that the professional appearance, as well as the professional demeanor no longer exists.
Technology in the past 30+ years, of course, has improved significantly, and I am all for progress-----however, I still think that the "old-fashioned" form of narrative charting was much better and more descriptiive & complete then "charting by exception", "check-list charting" or computerized charting.
Another change is that nurses are no longer taught to respect the physicians. When I was in school, we were taught to get up if the physician entered the nurse's station, and offer him your chair. Now, it seems that nobody respects anybody!
On a positive note, nursing salaries have improved significantly (since the 60's). However, for me, it was too little, too late!
And ,even after 34 years, I still don't make as much as I should be making or could be making elsewhere.
There is also an extremely diverse selection as to what type of nursing is available. You can become specialized in any area , or you can become a flight nurse, work for a home health agency, be an industrial nurse, work for hospice, a dialysis center, rehabilitation, etc. The choices are endless.
I, for one, have seen many changes & improvements as far as equipment & supplies and diversity of career choices. I have seen many changes(not all for the better) in health care in general with DRG's, PPO's. HMO's, PPS, as well, as the different statuses of patients treated in the hospital setting; acute care, ambulatory care/outpatient surgery skilled/Swing Bed, Observation, etc.
Nursing has come a long way in the last 30+ years, but I will always reflect on the way nurses & nursing used to be and feel that some degree of pride, ethics & professionalism in the nursing profession has been lost forever.