Tait, I couldn't agree more. As a nursing instructor who works insane hours trying to ensure my students receive an education that prepares them for real-world nursing, the only thing I refuse to replicate is the cattiness of coworkers and the general disrespect that nurses receive (from family, patients, administration, etc).
By the time they graduate, my students:
-always take a full load of patients
-have learned that we aren't in "NCLEX world" and can prioritize
-have good assessment and technical skills
-can plan care in alignment with reality, not a 40-page care plan
I am tired of seeing everything laid at the feet of education. This is a multifactorial issue. It belongs to all of us.
Managers- if you have created yet another form to fill out, not worked the floor in years, or are disconnected from your staff, you are contributing.
Administrators- if you can't see that $18/hr is not enough pay when you hold someone's life in your hands, and refuse to pay for enough staff, you are contributing.
Educators- if you assign excessive and unreasonable paperwork that is not based in reality, and overwhelm your students with content, you are contributing.
Floor nurses- if you have rolled your eyes, sighed at, or made the "I smell poo" face at a coworker or nursing student, you are contributing. If you've ever acted like someone new should already know something or gossiped about a coworker, you are contributing.
To all of us- if you aren't standing up for yourself and proper treatment, you are contributing.
I personally have made many of these errors as a new nurse and a new educator. I have contributed. Most of us have! The important things is to change for the better. As we know better, we must do better. Stop blaming the problem on one thing or one group of people. It is so many things: low wages, understaffing, lack of time for self, emotional and physical stress, lack of resources, lack of legislative support, coworker mistreatment, etc.
If we spent as much time trying to fix this as we did pointing fingers at everyone but ourselves we might have a solution. What is the future of nursing? I don't know, you tell me. This is a collective decision we all must make.