Retirement is a word I am happy to say.  I have been a Registered Nurse for over 42 years.  I now have a new status.  Retired.

When I became a nurse, we wore white dresses with white hose, white shoes and our caps.  Hair was pinned up, make-up was light and jewelry was only a  gold wedding band.  To people looking back at this, it may seem like the dark ages, but I remember how proud I felt.  It was a real honor to be recognized as a nurse.  We stood up at the desk when a doctor came on the floor and we carried the charts making rounds.  I think it was a real show of respect.    

My shift would begin with going around to each patient, talking to them, taking vital signs, and starting the day feeling like I knew what was going on with them.  The evening shift would include straightening their beds, giving a back rub, fresh water and making sure they were comfortable.  I remember the peace that everyone felt  when the evening prayers were given over the intercom and the lights were lowered.  There was not a lot of time to sit down, eat a meal or be on the cell phone (Whoops…that’s right..there was no such thing!)

Our shifts consisted of many trips up and down long hallways with my arms full  of supplies and my heart full of love for my patients and my job.  I had so many close friends and co-workers. We were more than happy to help each other and still manage a smile and kind word to everyone no matter how busy we were.

I have had a variety of experiences in my nursing career.  My job changes were prompted by what worked best for my large family.   I started my career on a medical-surgical floor. I  moved to Morgantown, WV and worked on an  open-heart surgery floor followed by the OB Dept.  I loved labor and delivery and was working in the newborn nursery when the neonatal intensive care unit was started at WVU Hospital.  After moving back to my hometown, I worked in the OB Dept and then Discharge Planning.  I worked Home Health for 19 years  and even set up a Home Health Program at a small local hospital.  The final 17 years of my career have been working in the insurance field.    I  have been at my final job for over 15 years.

It seems like when I was in high school, women were either a nurse or a  teacher.  There are so many more job opportunities now and I am not sure what I would choose.  I love to cook and bake so maybe a chef?  I love to clean, decorate and organize things so maybe something in this line?

The one job I always wanted to do but could never afford to, was to be a   “stay-at-home mom”.

I am ready to start a new phase of my life.  I want to be a stay at home wife  and grandma!!! 

I am sure it will take a few weeks or months to re-organize my daily routines  since I won’t be working.  My goals are to start each day with a walk and  some of that stuff called “exercise” which I have heard of.   I know my house  will be getting a very detailed cleaning, re-organizing and many projects done.

 I plan to do a lot of baking and cooking and spending more time with my  children and grandchildren.  I would like to teach some cooking classes to kids  and improve on blogging.  I almost feel sorry for my husband.  He says I already do so many things that he cannot even imagine what I will get into now.

I want to thank my parents for paying for college, my friends and co-workers  for all of your help and friendship, and my husband and children for supporting me and sharing me all of these years.  I love you all very much. 

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  1. Best of luck, Pam, and enjoy your retirement. Congratulations! My retirement was nearly 18 years ago and I have enjoyed it throughly.

  2. what an amazing life! You are a beautiful person. I hope your retirement is full of wonderful new experiences. I know it will be

  3. When I started nursing on the floor, we had the same uniform requirements. Not long after though, hats were no longer required; however, a lot of us continued to wear them. It was neat to see the different types & what school they represented. We did not stand when the doctors entered the station (this was a lot later than when you started); in fact, when one particular dr. was sighted, I ran to the bathroom to keep from making rounds w/him! I did, however, love to make rounds w/one of his partners, whom everyone else was scared to death of. It was my goal to have every piece of equipment or strange dressing choice that he might need. He almost always did his own dressing changes, and I learned so much from him. Like you said, there were so many close friends, and some patients/families became like family. The same was true with home health which I loved. Thank you for your post. I am thinking of people that I haven’t thought of for years (patients, staff& doctors). May your retirement be filled with as many satisfying and special memories. God bless.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Nursing was a bit of a different world then to what it is now. This made me think of people I have not seen for years too. Many good memories.

    2. I love the part about running to the bathroom when you saw a certain Dr. I had one also that I could never seem to please and I always wanted to hide!!

  4. Pammie, I read this to your Dad. He is so proud of you and loves you very much. I’m so glad you’re going to be able to do the things you love. Enjoy every day!

    PS: The house is already spotless!

    1. Thank you both. Love you guys very much. Oh house is not spotless but I’ll see what I can do about that!

  5. By now you have had a few good months to yourself and your grandchildren. Wonderful! My daughter is a nurse, and I know the amount of academic work and dedication it takes to pursue that career. I have nothing but respect for you!

    1. Thank you. I have been non-stop every day since retirement but a different kind of busy. Glad that your daughter is a nurse. I know my parents were proud of me too.

  6. So it is 8 months later — how is that thing they call exercising working out for you? Just know from experience that there never seems to be enough time for everything! How did we work 40+ hours a week? Although she was much older than you, my own mother was an RN and she was probably right when she used to say that most nurses knew as much if not more than most doctors!

    1. You are so right!! How did we work outside the home also. I haven’t been doing any of that sitting on the deck in the morning sipping tea, lunch with the girls, shopping etc….I am still non stop doing some project every day. Oh..and that exercise thing…I am so bad. Haven’t done it yet. I keep thinking start next Monday every week! That is neat that your mom was an RN. Her nursing experiences were probably more like what my beginning career was. Sad how things have changed in a way. We are missing the personal touch and compassion…too much on the computers.

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