Goodbye to Hospital Nursing
The day finally arrived! This past December 31st
, I retired from hospital nursing after 44 long years. Friends and co-workers threw a wonderful going away party for me, with great food, funny jokes and yes, alcohol was involved. It was a day to remember.
SO... what now?
I will continue my cruise nursing job as long as I can, but while fun and interesting, even that is beginning to lose its thrill. I always swore I would stop nursing when it stopped being fun, and that's the main reason I left the hospital. I've made no secret of the fact that I think our profession is suffering entirely too many indignities and I believe it keeps getting worse.
At my retirement party, I was asked to say something, and while normally I would have said something funny and entertaining, I just didn't have it in me. Instead I told the truth. Yes, I'm 62, and yes I'm in pain. The hallways were getting longer all the time. But in honesty I just couldn't keep watching the staff suffer the way they did. Everyday.
My position was as a supervisor. It's a HUGE responsibility. I loved the job, and the people. I considered most of my responsibility to be a NURSING advocate. And I'd like to think I was effective as one, at first. But it just became more and more difficult for me to say I'm sorry all the time. I'm sorry that you're 4 RNs short, or don't have the supplies you need, or that you fear for your job if you complain. I'm sorry that you feel as though you have no support from management. I'm sorry you go home in tears, and you're not a new graduate. (You know they cry.) I'm sorry the rules are becoming more ridiculous everyday.
Additionally, I'm sorry for myself. I'm sorry the profession that choose ME all those years ago finally became too hard for me to endure, but here's another reason for my sorrow: only one of my superiors from NURSING administration (my own department) wished me well, thanked me, or even said goodbye. Only one.