The rules we get handed aren't all that different to these (taken from Nova Scotia Nursing History Project) and that was over 70 years ago.
Students in the hospital nursing programs were required to live in residence while enrolled in the nursing school, as well as follow a strict set of rules and regulations which applied to all facets of the student’s life. These rules applied to everything from their behaviour to their dress and if the rules were not followed the students were disciplined. Most dismissals from the program due to a lack of discipline often occurred early on in the student's training. Due to the surplus pool of labour that existed, students who quit or were expelled could easily be replaced. Senior students however, were a valuable skilled labour force and were not quite as easy to replace. Therefore as long as the student was willing to accept a penalty and appeared to repent they would not be expelled from the program. As a result, the more senior the student was, the more likely the student could bend the rules without jeopardizing their entire training.So really in the last 70 years the rules (and the bending of them) hasn't changed. We no longer have to stay in halls of residence, and although some do they aren't quite so strict with the times. We certainly don't have to have the lights out at any specific time, not with all the weird shifts we have these days. The jewellery and make up rules still stand, although I wish they were enforced more.
The drop out rates haven't changed much.... Almost a third of nursing students drop out and Scotland is topping the league tables. This is another one where the answer is complicated AND simple at the same time. There's nothing like throwing money at a problem. The current nursing student bursary is £6,000 a year. I pay out around £3,000 in rent so I'm living off £3,000. Good thing I can get help from other places. Some want it to be increased to £10,000. that should solve one problem but where would the money come from? Taxes? Yea the hospitals need fixing and the schools need replacing first.
The complicated answer? Better support for the students, etc. A slightly more unique idea of mine is a more stringent interview and application process. They need to show new students exactly what will be expected of them in the next 3 years. If they are looking for an easy course with a job at the end of it then they should go study travel and tourism.
There's no place for rose tinted glasses here.