I am a Victorian Soul, live in a small townhouse that was built in the mid 1970's, not a huge Mega Mansion, with my Hubby Joe, who is a Retired Letter Carrier. I worked night shift as an RN on a Hospital based Rehabilitation( Physical Medicine) Unit for 37 years before I had Knee Replacement Surgery and officially Retired in 2019 after 41 years working in Direct Patient Care ... I am LOVING Retirement!!!!


George Eliot
George Eliot was actually a pen name for a woman named Mary Anne Evans......


Monday, August 19, 2019

I Survived a Nursing Career and I am Now RETIRED!!!!

Welcome to Debbie-Dabble Blog!!
I am so happy you decided to stop by!!

In my last post, I shared that we celebrated 3 milestones.....

Our 41 st Wedding Anniversary

Joe's 65th Birthday

and a huge milestone for me!!!
Click HERE if you missed that post.......

On Monday, August 12th, I finally was able to do something that I had dreamed about doing for a very long time......

Pretty much for the past 41 years.....

May I remind you that Nursing was NOT the profession that I chose for myself......

My Mother insisted that I go into Nursing because my sister was a nurse so I was not given a choice in the matter....

I NEVER wanted to be a Nurse.....

Before I go any further, I feel that all these great Sayings I found about being a Retired Nurse should say "a Retired Staff Nurse" as they are the ones who do direct patient care and are actually out there in the trenches, working up to 16 hour shifts, and weekends and Holidays and being mandated to do over time because of short staffing............

I sent Joe to the Post Office to mail out 3 certified letters for me.....
Each one contained my official letter of Resignation from the Health Care system that I have been employed by, having been grandfathered in after a company sale, for the past 41 years!!!
  Letters were sent to the Human Resource Department with my ID badges......

 To my former Operations Manager and also to the CEO of the Health Care System.....
When I do something, I always mean business.....

And I always said I was going to go out in a Blaze of Glory!!

But I have been told that I did it with grace, dignity and more respect than was shown to me and my co workers......

In November, the Rehabilitation Unit that I had worked on for the last 37 years, was closed rather abruptly.
 I found out about the closure of my department in an email from a former co worker who had taken another position in the System.

If I had not found out about the closure of my unit this way, I would not have heard about it until I returned to work 3 days later, as I had a few days off , because my Operations Manager did not feel the need to call staff members at home to inform them of the closure of our unit......
 We were "promised" that the unit would reopen as an Acute Care Medical Surgical Unit and our positions would be "transferred" to that unit.

When I demanded a Buy Out and Severance package, I was told it was not a closure but a "transfer"!!!

I was also informed that even though I was hired specifically for that department and not as an RN who could be floated out , I would be required to float to other departments including those at the main hospital where the acuity level was significantly higher...

In other words, my non-Float status that was supposedly "grandfathered in" was not going to be honored.....

I demanded answers to a lot of questions from my Operations Manager , Human Resources and the Nursing Union who supposedly represented me.

All were to no avail.....

I was given a mere 3 days of Orientation on an acute Medical Surgical Department and a few hours of Inservice Education by a member of the Nursing Education department since I had worked over 37 years on a Non Acute department.....
 It was then expected that I would not only work on my newly reopened unit but if it was closed because of lack of patients, I would float, not only to the Medical Surgical Units in the building where I worked, but also to the units in the main hospital, located several miles away, which has a significantly higher acuity level as it is a Trauma Center!!

Now I believe everything happens for a reason and when I had to move up my Knee Replacement Surgery from October to April  and go on a medical leave because of the pain in my knee in February, it really was a blessing in disguise......
 Since I had been on my Medical Leave of Absence, my department was closed due to lack of patients and has not reopened since March 29th....

Remember it was supposedly a "Transfer" not a Closure!

This situation was something that I alluded to in a previous post which you can click HERE to read...

My co workers have been floated not only to the 2 remaining Medical Surgical units in the building where I worked but also to the Medical Surgical units at the Main Hospital
Management has "asked" my co workers to work 12 hour shifts in an attempt to not to be floated to the main hospital even though they were hired for 8 hours shifts and when they refused, they were more often than not floated to the Main Hospital any way to do an 8 hour shift...

Management has also utilized Flex Nursing staff to staff the units where I worked and floated out regularly scheduled nurses to the Main Hospital....

I have not heard from my Operations Manager or my Clinical Coordinator as to what the status of my position was and in fact, I have not heard from my Operations Manager since February when I went on Medical Leave..

Nor did I hear from her when I had my surgery.....

My position was held for 2 months according to policy.......
 After that, I was supposed to be offered another comparable position for up to one year.....

I have heard nothing from any representative of my employer during the entire time that I have been on medical leave....

I called and left several messages with the representative from Human Resources in regards to what my job status was and what positions I would be offered or would have to apply for should I desire to return to work after my medical leave was over......
 My calls were NEVER returned......

There were over 20 nursing staff members in my department when it closed as a Rehab department....

There are now only 2 staff members left......

And one will be retiring by the end of the year if she lasts until then...

All have either accepted other positions in the system but most have resigned and taken jobs with other employers....

My co worker on night shift just resigned effectively immediately because of what she felt was harrassment from management.....

The catch phrase that the Health Care System I have been employed by is "CARING"

As a patient of said Health Care system, I have no complaints as I received excellent care when I had my Knee Replacement Surgery and I do feel that they do "CARE" for and about their patients...

BUT that is because it is the employees who do so....

Those in Administration and Management  definitely do not "CARE" about how they treat their employees and many of us feel that those of us who have the most seniority have had targets on our backs for some time now......

We make the most money and get the largest amount of Paid Time off.....

Every year, each employee gets a statement in regards to how much their salary is and what their benefits cost the employer......

In other words, how expensive we are to them.....

So my decision on whether or not to return to such a mismanaged, chaotic and toxic working environment was rather easy.......
I chose to resign 6 months prior to my originally planned date of retirement on my 62nd Birthday on January 31, 2020.

 I have always voiced my opinion and discontent over issues since the day I started my employment on September 5th, 1978......

I am proud to say that I have been written up for insubordination twice and suspended once because of voicing my opinion!!!

I was never called on the carpet for my Nursing Care and always did very well in my employee evaluations...

It was always about my attitude and my big mouth!!


My father taught me to 'Never Let Anyone Use You as a Door Mat"!!!

 I was never intimidated by Management because after working in the same place for 41 years, I pretty much knew everyone before they were anyone and I knew where all the skeletons were hidden......

 I also had a hard time taking my supposed superiors, who were many years younger than me, seriously!!!
  So it will be interesting to see if I will be granted an Exist interview which is now only a survey that you take online rather than meeting with an actual person, as I laid out all my reasons for resigning in my Letter of Resignation and sent a copy to the CEO of the Company!!!

I thank God that I had the sense to heavily invest in my 401 K plan, getting the highest percentage of money that my employer would match therefore getting them to essentially pay me much more than just my salary.......

 It is because of that that I am able to resign now, 6 months prior to my eligibility for my Social Security benefits.......

My sanity and inner peace is worth far more than money can buy........
 And why would I put myself through such stress caused by total chaos for a mere 6 months???????

  I have held my tongue for close to 6 months as to how I, an employee for almost 41 years, and my fellow co workers were treated .........

Which for those who know me well, was extremely hard for me to do!

Sadly, Health Care is nothing more than a Business nowadays and employees are nothing more than just a Number!!
They have no hold on me anymore and after 41 years, as Joe says,  I owe them NOTHING!!

So now, effective today, August 19th, I get to do what I want to do......

And not have to answer to anyone!!

If I was still working when my last day came, this is exactly what I would have been doing!!!!
I can not tell you how much I absolutely love that quote!!

Yes, I am DONE!!!!!

Done working either the Eve or Day of every Holiday.......

Done working every other weekend......

Done trying to find my own replacement when I needed time off ......

Done being told to write on the white boards in patient rooms because that has become more important than actual patient care

Done with doing Mandatory Goals online every year so much so that I had them memorized....

 Done with preparing for JACHO when I worked night shift and they would NEVER show up at night!!!

Done with giving bedside report in a semi private room which I felt was totally against Hippa regulations...

Done with being yelled at by physicians when you called them in the middle of the night and woke them up to tell them that their patient was going down the tubes!!

Done being responsible for up to 10 patients a piece, only working with another RN on night shift who also had 10 patients and working with NO Aide!!

Done with paying for and renewing my Nursing license!!!

My Favorite Quote is.....
 "It is Never Too Late to be What You Might Have Been"

This quote was written by George Eliot, which is ironically a pen name for a woman named Maryanne Evans, a journalist in Victorian times who wanted to escape the stereotype of woman journalists only being known for writing Romance novels and wanted to be taken more seriously....

It is now time for me to spread my wings and do what I want to do......

 Because after all......
I will be posting about how I got the most out of my employer and I am not just talking salary.....

And what I now plan to do with my life in retirement including my Time Management ideas.....

So I hope you will stop by and come along with me on my Retirement Journey!!!

Thanks to those who took the time out of their busy day to spend a little bit of time with me!!

If you do not have a blog, PLEASE  give me some way to reply to your comment, maybe by including your email in your comment.  If I can not find a way to reach you, I will reply on the post where you commented so please check back......

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  1. Congratulations, my friend!! You are DONE!!!
    Hugs ~

  2. Hurray, that nursing career and unpleasant management is done and dusted and the fun can begin. I retired 10 years ago, one year early because of unpleasantness at work, and never look back.

  3. Loved the energy in this post. Made me want to retire all over again. My husband is to retire Jan 2020. Earlier than he wanted but the hostile working environment is toxic to his health.

    Congratulations! I'm so excited for you and your new life.

    PS My DIL just passed her NCLEX-RN here in California and will be starting her new position at a local hospital soon.

  4. Congratulations, Debbie. I totally "get" what you're saying...my sister was in the health care field for 30 + years and was forced into retirement a couple of years ago. With all the jerking around they did with her and other staff members, it was really a blessing and thank goodness they gave her a really good severance package. But I hear from all my nursing friends that it just isn't what it used to be...

  5. Congrats on your early retirement, Debbie! Keep venting as much as you can so you can get all the bad experiences out of your system to finally relax and enjoy your retirement. Bad managers suck and are the worst and we've all had them! There's just too much hostility in the work place!

  6. So sorry to read about the bad experiences … the important thing is to enjoy your retirement :)

    All the best Jan

  7. Can't wait to see what you do in your retirement! Congratulations! Now you can enjoy the holidays! xo laura

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your Congrats on my retirement!!

  8. Oh, Debbie, I'm so happy for you and your retirement! I'm sure you've really made a difference on so many people's life during your career! God bless you. Let the decorating (well, more decorating) begin!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  9. Yesss! you survived through so many odds! you deserve a BIG CONGRATULATIONS and LOTS OF HUGS.

  10. Wow! Sounds like this post helped get a lot off your chest...and that's a good thing:) CONGRATS on your retirement. I can identify with some of this. I retired from my classroom (public school teacher) after 31 1/2 yrs. New standards (yet again) were introduced and I decided this old dog was tired of learning new tricks only to find out that when we had finally gotten used to them and running smoothly that they would be changed!!!! I was blessed for the next 9 years after retirement to work at the university level supervising student teachers. I absolutely loved it! Then that last year our supervisor moved and they replaced her with a young woman who had spent only 3 years in a classroom and she wanted to micro-manage everything. Oh the details I could go into but I won't (be glad)! Anyway....I've been totally retired now for about 3 years and I will say it has been an adjustment. I loved being a teacher (although that was not the original plan) and I miss it. I also am a person who likes to stay busy. Not working (for me) has been very difficult...but I do like not having to hear an alarm clock every a.m. Too bad we aren't neighbors...we could have some huge conversations about all this!!!! Hope you enjoy every single minute of your retirement...and thanks to you for all the wonderful care I'm sure you gave patients through all those years.

  11. OOPS...forgot to invite you to visit my blog: cherischatter.blogspot.com Would love to have you stop by for a "chat"!

  12. Oh Debbie! I enjoyed this post so much. I love you gave them a piece of your mind. Two wonderful nurses delivered my second daughter at 6:15 p.m. on 27 August 1978...right after they called the doctor for the 15th time trying to get him to come to the hospital (he was suppose to be on call for my doctor who was out of town) instead of going out to dinner with his family first! Nurses are the unsung heroes of the world. Those two gave that doctor a piece of their mind and apologized to me profusely for the doctor's bad performance, then delivered my daughter while they had me laughing over the ridiculous situation. Thank God for you nurses, and enjoy your retirement!

  13. Congratulations! Enjoy your retirement. Good it's behind you now.

  14. Debbie, Those on the floors give the care and truly mean it. They care for each other too...But honestly, most in the office of "Bean counting" ...we are only numbers. This goes for nursing, teaching, and all kinds of careers Blessings to you , happy retirement. xoxo, Susie

  15. Oh Debbie, I'm sooooooo incredibly happy for you. I knew from reading your previous blog posts that nursing was rough but it sounds more like hell after reading this one. It makes one wonder how in this day and age, management can still treat their staff, who are responsible for patient care, with so much disregard. They should read some of Richard Branson's books and articles about looking after your employees first. Goodness gracious. Anyhows, congrats on your retirement. It's the start of many beautiful days, and nights ;-) where you can celebrate the amazing person you are and embrace the wonderful life you have inside you. Have fun and I'll be following along on your journey just like always. Sending much love your way xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  16. Congratulations and Bravo, Debbie! I am so glad that sometimes bad situations work out for good! I have thought of you every day and prayed for you too for months. You are free now to do what you want to and I am incredibly happy for you. I know nurses work hard because I was once part of the system. My daughter-in-law is a part of it now. So far, so good. She works in Hospice and enjoys it although heart breaking at times.
    Thank you for your visit and your condolences. I am also very sad to hear about your nephew, John's passing! God bless you all, especially his wife and three girls! Life is precious and we must make each day count. Big Hugs...Sandi

  17. You go girl. Congrats on taking the early retirement. No one and I mean no nurses should be treated so badly by management like that. I am so sorry you worked for such a horrible organization. Don't even get me started on health care and treatment of nurses. Being a retired nurse too I understand totally. I worked for good organizations and retired early at 50 years old to help watch my grand girls. I left on a great note working for wonderful people. I have to say I do not miss the long hours and working the holidays. Nursing is one of the hardest jobs there are. Just happy you could make your exit early.

  18. I wish you happiness in your retirement!Blessings!

  19. Hi Deb: I am so happy for you and I bet you earned every subordination that you could come up with! What a great career you have had and knowing that you have helped so many people must be so fulfilling. My job was done away with a few months before I could retire but I was told that since I was so good that I could go to the nurses office and pick head lice until my time was up. Do you wonder what I said?! You will have a wonderful time and now you can take up painting and paint a Santa of your own..Thanks for your visit and Happy Tuesday and Much Fun..xxoJudy

  20. Many, many congrats Debbie! I spent 10 years as a medical technologist in a hospital that operated from the same play book as your now former employer. I could feel your aggravation and remember my own as I read this blog post. Yay for escaping the constant BS. Will love hearing about your retirement from here on out.

  21. Sorry about all that you have had to go through and I am happy for you that it is over. It's so sad that management can't see all this, I think anyone in management should have to start from the ground up and see what it is really like before they are able to make any decisions. It has been the same for my hubby working in the military in a job that is 24/7 you have to work holidays and be away from your family, in his case being sent away for months on end, people that work 9-5 just don't understand what others that don't have those hours have to go through and it can be very tiring that's for sure. Time to enjoy yourself you have worked for it.

  22. Wow!... You are amazing. I want you to always be in my corner. Way to go girl! You have given heart and soul for many years to your career in health care. I have no doubt you are a fantastic nurse. I am happy for you to have this new journey down your life path. You will do great things, and continue to create and make beauty where ever you are in life. You are blessed to have stayed with your plan, now in retirement, you are still young and you can enjoy life. Hugs to you my friend.

  23. I had no idea you had to go through all that!
    I am happy to hear you are retired now and can enjoy your days!

  24. Bravo! Congrats again. My husband retired earlier than he planned at age 58 due to a toxic work situation. Financially it would have been better if he could have continued, but when you end up in the hospital due to stress related issues, it's time to go! You got out in time!

  25. Debbie, you are so funny. . . I can just imagine you getting written up because of stating your opinions! But I'm also sure that you were a very, very hardworking nurse. With all the healthcare events we've weathered as a family, I am DEEPLY grateful for nurses.

    CONGRATULATIONS on your retirement! I am so glad that you were planning for early retirement. If you hadn't been planning for it, you'd now be in a world of hurt. But you've done such a good job of planning, you can approach your retirement worry-free. God bless you as you start this new chapter! Hugs to you!

  26. Congrats on your retirement. I had wanted to be a nurse since I was 5 years old. I loved my job as a nurse having worked in many units/floors at the hospital as well as a nursing home supervisor and a home health nurse. Leaving at around age 40 was due to my illness. It occurred to me that it was time to leave when an elderly patient said to me, "Honey, I think you're in worse shape than I am!"

  27. My mom always wanted to be a nurse. She talked about how the management were not always kind to nurses or to her. I am happy that you can do now what you want to do!!


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