Some states DO publish clinical hour data. I completed my BSN and was originally licensed in Ohio. I haven't looked lately but at the time I was attending college this was all published.
I think this conversation needs to address a more complex issue which I didn't see while skimming the discussion. Nursing schools can WANT to increase clinical hours or change the format of what clinicals have evolved to become. However, nursing schools do not OWN this. There are extremely specific and complex contracts and requirements from hospitals and other clinical site locations that have helped to make clinicals what they are not as opposed to what they used to be in the "good old days". I would argue that there are more restrictions on students of all varieties and disciplines due to organizational desires to limit liability and mitigate risk.
This is of course, compounded by the fact that even if a school has a contract with a hospital, that does not mean the staff is open and accepting of having students. While I was in my MSN program, I was a BSN tutor and TA for several BSN classes. You cannot imagine how many times, from the number of students myself and other class faculty heard that (insert unit name / insert facility name / insert info about primary preceptor) is not open to having students, it's a second thought, nobody is willing to teach during clinical time.
We are not helping this problem any. Clinical nurses, management and leadership own a part of this. Nursing schools own part too. But the students also own part. Another part is that even when I was in school (~10 years ago now) the quality and competence of our clinical instructors varied greatly. That's on us - those of us practicing clinically - to be willing to help change things. We can be part of the solution or part of the problem...but we shouldn't be complaining if we're the ones unwilling to teach students.
Not to mention, the regulation of clinical facilities is vastly different than it was many years ago. All of these comments referencing the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s - have we forgotten that all of those situations predate this focus on patient safety, morbidity and mortality? Just because most students and many patients survived doesn't mean it was actually better.
As for the comment about working doubles regularly as a student (or otherwise): there is a TON of data and literature that shows that the potential for making an error vastly increases after 10 hours of work. I have worked my share of 16's, been on call for a week straight in addition to working my regular hours, have worked easily 80 hours in one week regularly... Just because we accept it does not make it right or best, and it actually tends to hurt our argument for "better".
I greatly benefited from being a nursing assistant during nursing school. I was in the float pool at a large university hospital - I learned time management, to advocate for myself and to trust nobody. I had to unlearn that last part - about trust - to a healthy level of concern in my current job. I love the team I'm part of now, but wouldn't value it without what I experienced as a float nursing assistant. I had to learn time management - the float was ALWAYS given the worst assignment (save for a few select units who treated us well) and my assignment often changed q4 hours. Having learned time management and some other key skills, I was in a better place as an RN.
As an OR nurse who frequently precepts our new hire OR nurses and surg techs - I have to endorse the comment shared earlier that the task skills can be taught and refined. The bigger picture issues take much more work.