Oh my, where do I start?
The nursing collective as it appears to be referred to by many here is not much of a collective at all. Our common thread is our license. Aside from this, nursing is still very much a blue collar job with various points of entry for most, including various ways to travel up the ladder into management positions. We are pitted against each other from the start because many of us come from different educational backgrounds and bring a different perspective. This could be said of any group of workers but the difference is that we are making decisions about another human being and the stakes are higher. So we come in with different knowledge bases and practical life skills (nursing is often a second career these days) to contend with others who may not have much of either. This doesn't change with standard entry education because a nursing license and a nursing position is still fairly easy to obtain in comparison to jobs with similar requirements in other fields. A BS degree is a hell of a lot easier to come by these days than it was in previous decades, even if it costs more.
After establishing that nursing is easier to take on than say, engineering, you have to actually look at the varied socioeconomic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds of nurses, in addition to their personal motivations. These vary so widely we could have an entire thread devoted to the topic. First generation immigrants may have a more difficult time standing up for themselves in the workplace generally, for fear of rocking the boat. Younger women may not have a sense of their own voices yet; for some nursing is even a first job. Older women may be trying to bide their time for retirement. Some, like myself, prioritize my job last in a long list of priorities so that I choose to work part-time per diem only to accommodate more important interests and obligations. I may not be close to retirement but I also don't need a full-time job.
As for the victimhood of women that is so popular these days (and we've been through before- I remember the 90s)- views tend to be largely generational. I see a whole lot of Millenial and baby boomer women complaining out there but less of my own generation (does this have anything to do with the fact that gen X has been more financially successful than their parents?) But I also remember growing up in a world where we shucked off the feminism of our mothers and grandmothers since we believed (and I still do) that we were living in a world with plenty of opportunity for women for the taking. Those boomers were so angry at us for not appreciating them enough (though it was their mothers and grandmothers who really did the work). So interesting that their own children are now out protesting divisivesly with silly pink hats. I'm sorry but I can't get behind the neo-women's movement. I'm doing just fine and so are many, many women that I know. I have CHOICES.
So forgive me if I do not believe that the way to change nursing is with collectivism, which is the new political rage these days. I haven't any issues standing up for myself, asking for better working conditions, speaking up in a meeting, standing my ground over an important issue, asking for more pay and GETTING it, refusing work, quitting my job, or letting another nurse know that they are WRONG. I have positioned myself so that I OWN my work and that is each individual's responsibility. If we had more personal accountability and less kowtowing, we might get somewhere. Having someone else hold a gun to the head of management (unions) gets "us" very little.
Wanna change nursing? Change HEALTHCARE. No, I'm not talking about lobbying for more care for the sick, I'm talking about a wellness model. KEEP people well. Advocate for alternative therapies, promote naturopathy, clean food and water, advocate for livestock health and small farms, advocate for personal choice in healthcare, model wellness to your patients. We need to change the sickcare model. You work in an INDUSTRY that operates for PROFIT and it is no different than any other, I am sorry to say. Why would you expect any more? If you lobby your state officials, perhaps you should think bigger and stop worrying so much about teeny tiny changes that frighten the beast but keep him going.
And on that note, I'm going for a run.