I don't spend as much time on these boards as I once did--part of an ongoing fight against internet addiction--but when I come here, I try to make it a rule not to waste a lot of time guessing a poster's motives, or what they really mean. I can very easily see why some people thought (and some probably still do) that this was "research" for a class. And it's clear from some of your subsequent posts that you had some ideas on the topic when you began. Then again, I have a Y chromosome and subtle nuances confuse me, so I find life a lot simpler if I just take most things at face value.
That said, the original question of this thread is one that gets discussed a lot--even offline. I think there is almost a universal consensus that there is something(s) wrong with our profession. I have to confess, in my present context, I don't find matters as dire as I once did. I feel there are real problems worth addressing, but I also suspect that would be true doing QC in a pie factory.
Still, I think I have an answer to the question posed, though I'm much less confident of a solution. The biggest problem in nursing today--indeed, in all of healthcare--is: THE OPIOID CRISIS!!! And, by that, I mean very damned little to do with the actual opioid crisis, but rather the knee jerk stupidity that has been both a cause of and response to said crisis, and by that I mean a long and pitiful history of healthcare regulation by people who know next to nothing about healthcare. Pain is not and never was a fifth vital sign, and a Pyxis buffet is not and never was the answer, and you could probably count one one hand the healthcare professionals who ever thought so, but the very last thing the media or the suits could ever believe is that doctors and nurses usually have a pretty good idea how much pain you are in, or what to do about it. And it's the same story with pretty much everything we do.
When I admit a patient with a stroke at 0340, one of the questions I must ask is: what can you tell us about yourself that will make your care more individualized? And with whatever cognition that patient has, he or she is thinking, "Oh, my God, I'm in the hospital! Am I going to die?" And so I chart, "Likes chocolate pudding." Because, you know, actually getting to know someone and learning what they need takes more time than the suits can afford.
I started this post as a reply to ExpNurse_RN, then abandoned it because I needed more time to mull it over, but I think she (?) touched on the best solution I can see with the why can't we all just get along idea. I have some ideas why we sometimes don't: we are all often under a lot of stress; most of us really believe what we do is important; we're inclined to take it personally even more than we probably ought to. A fellow nurse who appears indifferent is an affront to our core beliefs--and perhaps rightly so, although maybe we shouldn't be too quick to assume indifference. A fellow nurse makes a stupid mistake--we all know the potential for disaster, there. Still...
Another thread I've recently seen asked something along the lines of what do you love about nursing, and I can't help thinking that's a critical part of addressing what's wrong with nursing. Has a lot to do with my own experiences in the past couple of years. To make a long story short (yeah, I know, that shipped sailed awhile ago) I love nurses. The ones who took care of me while I was sick, and the ones I work with, and certainly not least the ones who've taken care of me at work, from my beginnings as a hapless newbie to more recently as a dead man walking.
I once observed, only half in jest, that there is nothing in heaven or earth that three nurses working together can't accomplish. The hard part is getting three nurses to work together. I think this applies to standing up for our profession in the face of the powers that be, but even more so during the course of a routine shift. This is hard work, and it can be very lonely, at times. We see things a lot of people don't. We make choices that seem impossible. We put our asses and sometimes our souls on the line. And I am going to make every effort I can to realize as often as I can that the people I work with are doing the same thing. Which shouldn't be too difficult, since quite a few have done the same for me.