OK, I know I'm getting older and it's been a while since I graduated from nursing school, but when did all the staff nurses (and physicians) get so young??

Over the last few months, I have had many occasions to visit patients in hospitals.  Not just one, but several different facilities in various states. Yes, some of the young faces I saw and interacted with WERE new interns and medical students, possibly even newly hired nurses fresh from their NCLEX licensing exam.  But for sure the majority of nurses who were working on the units I visited were at least 15 or 20 years younger than me.  ("Not that there's anything wrong with that," as Jerry Seinfeld said). 

I am grateful for a 30 year career in nursing and healthcare.  I would never trade the years of experience or the things I've learned over my career for another job.  But when I look around or even better, talk with some of the young RNs who are caring for my patients or friends, I can't help but wonder who is supporting them, coaching them, and mentoring them?  So many of them I met seem overwhelmed, stressed, and don't give the sense that they're enjoying their job.  That makes me sad. 

Nursing is an amazing profession, a fulfilling career.  My hope for these young nurses is to find a 'veteran' nurse to help them along, to support them.  We were all young once.  To my fellow 20+ nursing veterans, let's remember to extend a hand to our young colleagues.  Why, you might ask?  Think about it, these nurses may be taking care of you someday!