Thanks guys for your wonderful comments! I can tell we three are about the same ages by what you remember and relate to in your post! I find that soooooooo comforting!
All my adult life, I have tended to gravitate to those women older than me. They just seem to make a lot more sense to me than my own generation at that time. In raising my three girls, I hung around MOMS who were also about ten to fifteen years older than me. Most girls my age were still childless, or just married, or still in college, or had little ones much younger than my own kids.
I married at 18 - a virgin. We had our first child two months shy of me turning 19. I married my teenage sweetheart who was already out of highschool and serving in the Army before I even graduated from tenth grade. (He's three years older than I).
So, quite naturally, when I started college, I hung out with those I was use to learning from - those older than myself. Those who happened to be younger than me in nursing school hung around me for the same reasons I hung around older students. We all had the need for knowledge from those more mature and wiser than ourselves.
After graduation, passing boards, starting work, and finishing my long orientation from several great preceptors (both male and female/younger and older), I took from each one of those preceptors the knowledge that I needed to - in turn - mentor to those coming up behind me in the nursing field, so I always made myself available to the new grads when they came on board. Eventually, I became a preceptor myself because I loved teaching and helping other nurses and CNAs to learn learn learn!
I'm not too proud to learn from those younger than me, as the wisest of phrases have been known to be birthed from "the mouths of babes".
Nor did I ever feel too proud to shut up and tune in to the "seasoned nurses" around me. I'm a "seasoned nurse" today, yet I still leave myself open to learning from those older and younger than I, regardless of whether they are a CNA, LPN, or RN like myself.
Whatever "attitudes" I had coming into nursing have only been twice refined like silver and gold since I've been a nurse. When I work, I always keep foremost in my mind that I am there as a part of the whole team of nurses, and not just the only one who can make a difference in our patients lives.