This thread has gone nuts!
As a relatively new nurse with roughly 4.5 years of experience, I will say that a good mix of new and old is definitely preferable. Not to say that having all newer staff is bad (I worked night shift with a group of nurses who mostly had less than 3 years experience, with 1-2 who had more, and everything went SO well with this bunch). But yea, when the poop hits the fan I'm more likely to run to the nurse with 20+ years under her belt than I am to go to the new grad with 256 different certifications but hasn't had a chance to put any of them to practice.
As the wise Confucius said 'I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.' Give me a nurse who has done and understands, anytime lol.
BTW, its been real entertaining to see those who have taken this thread so personally. If you are young, thin and pretty, good for you. If you are also a good nurse, all the better. A wise person would understand that this thread has not been about generalizing. Not all cute, young, thin new grads are simpering fools who sit at the nurses' station playing on their smart phones, who have no manners, etc. What does make you look like a fool is coming online and bristling and getting defensive about it. 'Methinks the lady doth protest too much!'