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How to Support the Next Nursing Generation: The Z's

Nurses Article HowTo   (8,027 Views | 38 Replies | 899 Words)

Melissa Mills has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Nurse Case Manager, Professor, Freelance Writer.

11 Followers; 123 Articles; 26,390 Profile Views; 286 Posts

How can I help support the next generation of nurses?

It's time to start thinking about the next generation of nurses - the iGen. The oldest of this generation is just graduating college now and they are already leaving their mark on nursing programs and the workforce. Learn a few things you need to know about Generation Z. You are reading page 2 of How to Support the Next Nursing Generation: The Z's. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

380 Posts; 3,476 Profile Views

Not wanting to sound harsh, but while I wish Gen-Z all the success in their professional endeavors, when did it become my, other nurses', or the entire profession's responsibility to support this new generation? When I entered into professional nursing 26 years ago, the expectation was that we work hard, keep our heads down, our mouths closed, and that, eventually, we would assimilate and be accepted into the culture. While I certainly had some awesome (and not so awesome) preceptors, no one went out of their way to learn my generation's unique needs or learning styles! I'm disturbed by what I now perceive as a sense of entitlement and a 'what can you do for me' or'accept me as I am' attitude-not a 'how can I help' or 'what can I bring to the table mentality! We've gone forwards in so many areas of healthcare, however, this is one area that I feel we're going the wrong direction!

I feel that it's always been (or should have been) the nursing professions responsibility to support new nurses in their practice. Isn't it part of the culture of bullying, "I was treated this way when I was young so I'll treat others the same way I was treated."

I don't see anything wrong with adapting how we teach to suit the newer generation.

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11 Posts; 787 Profile Views

I'll be entering the workforce as a second-career nurse with Gen Zee and while I'm decades older than them, I feel we share a lot of common ground and there is much to be celebrated about what they add to the cohort. I agree with the @Mergirlc about the Microbiology class - I had the same experience! But I feel like most of those students who weren't paying attention or didn't seem to care didn't make it very far. I'm sure there are negative characteristics to every generation, but I really appreciate the call for diversity and the push for technology that Gen Zee has.

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1,731 Posts; 17,939 Profile Views

Totally agree. Also the N C L E X has been dumped down. Also, one needs an attention span of more than 8 seconds to understand a concept.

That is really funny.

Maybe it this stretch of back to back shifts I am doing.

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Melissa Mills has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Nurse Case Manager, Professor, Freelance Writer.

11 Followers; 123 Articles; 286 Posts; 26,390 Profile Views

I enjoy reading all of the comments. I agree that the "attention span" information is difficult to determine validity. However, I feel that if we step back and look at the issue from a fifty-thousand-foot view - you will not only see the implications for work-life, but you can anecdotally see evidence of this statistic. I see this every day with three teenagers in my home - I wouldn't say that their attention span is always 8 seconds, but I do see that they rely on tech and multi-task with ease. They have grown up with tech in their hands, so relying on it is "normal" to them.

This article was in no way criticizing this next generation. I was bringing awareness to the fact that we have a new generation of nurses coming and we need to understand them. I am Gen X'er, and I agree that nurses on my first unit didn't really "understand or accept" me. And, those first few years were even harder because I didn't always feel accepted. Did I survive - HECK YES! :) But, would it have been nice for someone to acknowledge me for who I was based on the time I grew up in - absolutely.

Thanks for all of the thoughts and comments. This the reason I love to write - it sparks conversation. And, every time you think and talk about new information - you learn. :). ~Melissa

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20 Posts; 437 Profile Views

There is more cultural research now than back then. When we know better, we do better. Knowing what makes a new gen tick, certainly can help us understand. Being open minded also helps us learn from them, and they do have a lot to teach us as well. Shutting them down as "entitled" will do nothing good, but foster continued staff shortages and do nothing to help our patients, and helping patients is what we all want, no matter what generation we are from.

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Melissa Mills has 20 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Nurse Case Manager, Professor, Freelance Writer.

11 Followers; 123 Articles; 286 Posts; 26,390 Profile Views

maji2002 - Could not agree more! :)

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118 Posts; 2,233 Profile Views

Every generation has desirable and undesirable traits if we all wanted to nit pick. This article fosters bad attitudes towards newer nurses.

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RapunzelStudentNurse has 3 years experience.

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The eagerness to feel contempt and the lack of critical thinking here is just sad. Didn't you learn always to check verifiable primary sources before believing information you got online? If you did, you'd know that 8-second attention span thing is utter bogus.

It's been floating around on the web for years. Most articles (if they cite a source at all) cite a report on attention done by Microsoft in 2015. That report didn't do the original research; they cited the Statistic Brain Research Institute for the 8-second attention span claim.

Statistic Brain didn't research it either. They made the claim citing a news agency (like that's a legitimate research source), the NCBI and the NLM (both of which denied being the source of the 8-second claim) and a 2008 research article that's not even about attention, but actually was about web usage.

(It's also worth pointing out that in 2008 when that article was published, the oldest Gen Z kids were TWELVE.)

None of these sources tie the 8-second thing to a specific generation either. People just hear "technology" and jump immediately to "the young people!!" Would it surprise you to know that despite being required by our college to buy ebooks, many of my classmates and I paid extra for hard copies? Maybe we aren't as tech-dependent as everyone wants us to be.

I'm currently a Gen Z nursing student. When I'm a nurse, I'll be happy to put my head down and work as I have the last three years as a nurse aide. I'm not looking for any special treatment or babying. I just don't want to be bullied, which is what's likely to happen when y'all are so eager to feel contempt for my generation that you'll believe a worn-out internet myth without bothering to check the facts.

The Microsoft attention report: Microsoft Attention Spans Research Report | Attention | Advertising

An explanation of the whole thing: The Attention Span Statistic Fallacy - Policy Viz

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44 Posts; 1,026 Profile Views

Why there is something to say about incorporating new learning styles for our upcoming co workers, It still seems like there is a lot of ball to drop. We deal in peoples lives, day in and day out. Our commitment should reside on the Pt well being, not on the comfort of the new staff. Technology is great, when it works. But when the chips are down, you gotta know your stuff. No googling ACLS tips during the code.

"They desire work-life balance while making money at a stable job. And, they want to have face-time with management."

So they want to work less, and be paid well? Well who doesn't? The trade off for less home time is more disposable income, the inverse goes without saying. and Face-time with management? The only time i wanted face time with management was my yearly review. But does this also mean that they expect face-time? I'm confused what face time with management has to do with the upcoming workforce.

"Show Respect for Diversity - Be sure to include them in groups and committees at work. And, be ready for them to expect these groups to show diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation."

To expect? They Expect it? The only thing these little tide pod eaters should expect is competences and hands on education. Who has trained these little Gestapo to think like this? Why should the most qualified person for the committee be beaten out because the the other candidate was a trans-gendered pan sexual demi-queer wolfkin? This is the line in the sand for me. I could care less if Carol, fictional, and I have the same interest in women, what i care for is that she will bring forth the arguments that leads to a positive work environment and best Pt care. Would I work with a trans-gendered pan sexual demi-queer wolfkin? Of course. I care not for the personal lives of others, but as soon as you stand upon the moral high ground and sneer at me for my lack of inclusivity, I will hold up that mirror and point to our Pt. They are what is important. They are what matter. Not our differences in orientation. We will all care for these Pt together for a positive outcome. That is what matters.

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1,731 Posts; 17,939 Profile Views

Why there is something to say about incorporating new learning styles for our upcoming co workers, It still seems like there is a lot of ball to drop. We deal in peoples lives, day in and day out. Our commitment should reside on the Pt well being, not on the comfort of the new staff. Technology is great, when it works. But when the chips are down, you gotta know your stuff. No googling ACLS tips during the code.

"They desire work-life balance while making money at a stable job. And, they want to have face-time with management."

So they want to work less, and be paid well? Well who doesn't? The trade off for less home time is more disposable income, the inverse goes without saying. and Face-time with management? The only time i wanted face time with management was my yearly review. But does this also mean that they expect face-time? I'm confused what face time with management has to do with the upcoming workforce.

"Show Respect for Diversity - Be sure to include them in groups and committees at work. And, be ready for them to expect these groups to show diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation."

To expect? They Expect it? The only thing these little tide pod eaters should expect is competences and hands on education. Who has trained these little Gestapo to think like this? Why should the most qualified person for the committee be beaten out because the the other candidate was a trans-gendered pan sexual demi-queer wolfkin? This is the line in the sand for me. I could care less if Carol, fictional, and I have the same interest in women, what i care for is that she will bring forth the arguments that leads to a positive work environment and best Pt care. Would I work with a trans-gendered pan sexual demi-queer wolfkin? Of course. I care not for the personal lives of others, but as soon as you stand upon the moral high ground and sneer at me for my lack of inclusivity, I will hold up that mirror and point to our Pt. They are what is important. They are what matter. Not our differences in orientation. We will all care for these Pt together for a positive outcome. That is what matters.

Well, I was thinking "tide pod eaters" was a bit harsh. Until I got to the gestapo part. I too am sometimes annoyed by youngsters, but comparing them to the worst of the Nazis might be a bit over the top. Long shift?

The article rubbed me a bit wrong as well. I have worked in a pretty wide variety of jobs from construction to hippy dippy touchy feely stuff to nursing, and have always adapted myself to the culture and expectations, rather than the reverse. But looking at your response, I actually see some positives in the OP.

You should respect diversity. That is entirely different from giving preferential treatment. But, there is some pretty good evidence that striving for diversity in a committee or group will positively impact decision making.

" In the study, diverse groups outperformed more homogeneous groups not because of an influx of new ideas, but because diversity triggered more careful information processing that is absent in homogeneous groups."

As far as targeting the education to the demographic receiving it? That is called differentiation, and is considered good teaching. I do see it in the hospital setting- most often when people in my generation try to learn something new on those damn new-dangled computers.

I don't get the part about pointing the mirror at the patient. If you do that, then the patient just sees him or her self.

And, most of all, thanks for wolfkin. I had to Google it.

Edited by hherrn

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8 Posts; 201 Profile Views

I believe this IS the definition of Nurses Eating their young. None of us should EVER have had to experience this shameful treatment of human beings, much less passionate, excited new nurses who will be the ones taking care of us in our times of need. Do you want bitter, frustrated, and damaged nurses caring for you or WORSE, no one willing to run that gauntlet for a career. The BEST reason for welcoming these Nurses with open arms, is the fact that we were not.

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