The World of Nursing: Then and Now
Pam Cipriano, PhD, RN, FAAN, NEA-BC Editor-in-chief | American Nurse Today
The Mindset List, created by Beloit College in Wisconsin, helps faculty members prepare for incoming students by ensuring that their cultural references are up-to-date and reflect the worldview of current students. Its originators, Humanities Professor Tom McBride and former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief, have published this clever list since 1998 to help faculty stay in touch with younger generations. The list helps faculty recognize the differences between the truisms of their own formative years and the changes shaping the world of incoming students.
The 75 items on the Mindset List for the Class of 2014 humorously contrast generational differences in the perceptions of trends, celebrities, and politics. They reflect the latest advances in technology, consumer products, economics, sports, and public opinion. Many items on the list will make you laugh; some are reminders of ever-changing sociopolitical norms.
The nursing world, too, has evolved dramatically since the largest cohort of nurses, now ages 50 to 54, entered the workforce in the 1970s. When they graduated from nursing school, news headlines chronicled these events:
- The first Apple® computer is developed.
- The Supreme Court allows removal of life support for Karen Quinlan.
- Elvis Presley dies.
- Congress approves a $1.5 billion bailout for Chrysler.
- The disposable razor is introduced.
- Capital punishment is deemed constitutional.
- Oregon decriminalizes marijuana.
- The Department of Energy is created.
More recently, as nurses entered the workforce during the first decade of the new millennium, we saw headlines like these:
- The Department of Homeland Security is created.
- Medical marijuana is legalized in 14 states and the District of Columbia.
- States place moratoriums on executions, as half the public favors life without parole over the death penalty.
- Congress approves a $25 billion bailout of the auto industry.
- Social networking connects people around the world. (Even Grandma is on Facebook!)
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