August 11, 2008, 2:30 pm

Termination in Five…Four…Three…

Here we see registered nurses working in the laundry room.

Whatever they are doing, it’s out of the same material “of which Kotex is made”!

So… Kotex is made from hospital towels?

Doesn’t this make you wonder what the other 15% of hospitals use?

How many “absorbents” are on the market anyway?

Reminds me of when I shadowed a nurse who was the head of Central Supply as part of our rotation in nursing school.

Not one iota of patient care! She didn’t even put together trays, let alone wrap them.

I’m sure it was a big responsibility, keeping a large medical center in sterile instruments, but it hardly took an RN to do it.

I remember thinking, “What a cu-shy job!”


I am a manager’s worst nightmare.

I procrastinate. I admit it.

I turn in certifications on the last day. If my license if due to expire on the 30th, I have it in on the 29th. Apparently this causes emotional stress in administration as they face the ever-impending Joint Commission search of all files related to employees.

But I have a feeling I may not be the only one.


Superior Medical Center has now started “the countdown”.

For example, I might find this in my mailbox.

Dear Staff Member,

This is to inform you that your ACLS/BCLS/PALS/TNCC/ENPC/ATLS/CEN/Nursing license is due to expire in two years.

Please provide a copy of your new card.

Failure to do so can result in termination of your employment.



This is followed up with exponential frequency, and ever more ominous threats of dismissal if said card is not provided.

So, you provide said cards, despite the fact that not having to come to work would be a wonderful reason for not providing it.


Then you find this in your mailbox:

Hey Staff Person,

Your ACLS/BCLS/PALS/TNCC/ENPC/ATLS/CEN/Nursing license expired two months ago.

If you don’t get your butt in gear, like, tomorrow, you’ll be like, homeless in a month because you won’t be getting a paycheck anymore, and if we have to send another message, it will be with Tony Soprano, capiche?



Now you know you sent that damn card in. So you call Human Resources, the source of the threat letters.


“Human Resources”

“Hi, this is Kim from the Emergency Department. I just got a rather threatening letter regarding an ACLS/BCLS/PALS/TNCC/ENPC/ATLS/CEN/Nursing license that I submitted two months ago.”

“We never received it.”

“Well, I sent it.”

“Where did you send it?”

(Sigh) “I gave a copy to my manager and sent one to the nursing office like I’m supposed to, dork.

“Oh, that’s the problem! The nursing office doesn’t handle nursing certifications anymore. HR does it now.”

“Excuse me? When did the nursing office, the one-stop-shop for all our nursing needs, stop keeping track of the nurses?”

Yadda, yadda, yadda.


Now wait just a minute here.

My facility is not a huge, faceless World-Renown- Hospital-With-Attached-Medical-School. If my wayward in-house mail was opened in the Nursing Office, why would the person in question not put it back in the manila envelope, mark it for HR and send it on its merry way?

And where did my copy go, if not to HR?

Something tells me that the manager of engineering now knows I passed ACLS.


The moral of the story?

I turn my cards in on time.

And I make three copies of the card in question and hand them personally to the HR department.

God forbid they send Tony Soprano to my house.

Then again, he likes Journey so he can’t be all bad.


An original post from


  • Braden

    August 11, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    “But I have a feeling I may not be the only one.”

    We just had JCAHO come through our hospital and I was awoken a couple hours before my shift was to start to the sound of a frantic admin nurse complaining that I did not have all my shot records on file and JCAHO was asking for them!!!

    Yes, I admit, I’m one of THOSE nurses who has to be pulled by the ears to get everything turned in.

  • Strong One

    August 12, 2008 at 5:54 am

    You always learn THAT lesson the hard way.
    COPY.. COPY..COPY.. everything.
    It somehow becomes your fault when someone else loses what you sent them.

  • Healthcare Today

    August 12, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Termination in Five…Four…Three……

    Superior Medical Center has now started “the countdown.” For example, I might find this in my mailbox……

  • NPs Save Lives

    August 14, 2008 at 8:26 am

    That is too funny! I am a professional procrastinator as well. I even wrote an essay on it at college (two days before it was due of course!)

  • Mike

    August 14, 2008 at 10:06 am

    A true bad sad tale that is played out in every healthcare facility in the land. It boggles my mind how so many people that have spent a life time of training in the art of saving lives can not keep track of certifications. As the Strong One said above, copy every thing you have and put notes on it, hand it in in person and if need by make a copy and have HR sign it saying the received it. In the end though, you can’t win. If admin loses the stuff you still have to provide another copy.

    Its the same thing when the lab drops or loses a blood sample. Everything gets hemolyzed, and you have to resubmit.

  • Jen

    August 15, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Speaking of turning in cards, have you heard about the legislation to prevent voter card registration at veteran’s hospitals? There’s a nursing angle to this story involving the Hatch Act, but I don’t really understand it…

    Story here:

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About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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