Are We Losing Independent Thinkers?
I first started noticing it in the grocery store. A person would be standing in front of the cereal selection asking the person on the cell phone what kind they should bring home. Why can't this person make this kind of decision on her own? What disaster will strike if the family has breakfast with Captain Crunch instead of Toucan Sam?
I never considered how this would transfer to the workplace until I read an article that says millennials (the newest generation to join the workforce) are so used to being connected to family and friends that they have a hard time making decisions on their own.
The article cited a study and reported, "Roughly three-quarters of executives and HR managers at 400 companies surveyed said that recent 4-year college graduates displayed only ‘adequate' professionalism and work ethic, creativity and innovation, and critical thinking and problem-solving. Only one-quarter reported an ‘excellent' display of those traits in recent college graduates." The study didn't look specifically at graduates from nursing programs, but one can assume they would be similar.
It is important and smart that nurses be connected to information to check facts and for evidence-based practices. That's why they carry pocket drug handbooks, PDAs, have Internet access - not to mention supervisors. But they also need to be able to think on their feet, in the moment, with confidence.
Is anyone noticing that new grads seem more dependent on technology and have a hard time making decisions on their own? Let's hear from some Generation Y nurses, too. How do you react to these suggestions?
--Linda Jones, editorial director