'Twas the week after Christmas ...

Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC
Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

New Year's at the Facility

'Twas the week after Christmas, just leaving the home
I steered for my latte, light on the foam;
The traffic was tough, so I drove with great care,
In hopes my caffeine-fix soon would be there.

The baristas were bustling, some wearing cool dreads;
While visions of steamed-milk danced in my head;
The menu a bright vision, so much to choose from;
Holiday mint-mochas and pecan-buttered rum.

When suddenly my cell rang with such a loud clatter,
I reached in my purse to see what was all the matter.
“It's the facility!” I saw and my stomach fluttered,
“I just left!” to the phone, I grumpily muttered.

What could it be? What could have just happened?
“Ugh, I just want a night!” I whined with great passion,
When what to my wondering ears did appear?
Why my nursing staff — to wish me good cheer.

I'd left in a hurry so grouchy and quick,
I knew in a moment I'd been a bit “thick.”
How could I forget who makes my life sane,
And I teared up and shouted and called them by name:

"Hey, Kathy! Hey, Lisa! Hey Jerome and Pedro!
Hey, Maria! Hey, Jada! Hey, Tina and Franco!
To the top of the roof! To the edge of the hall!
No words can explain how I'm loving you all!"

Forgetting my latte, out the door I was spry,
I quick called the pizza place and ordered some pies;
So back to the facility I practically flew,
With a car full of pizza and other treats too.

And then, in a twinkling, I was in the front door,
Then skipping and dancing down each hallway floor.
As I nodded my head and was turning around,
Down the hallways my staff came with a bound.

“What are you doing here?” they looked kind of startled,
“Please don't tell us the state came!” their cry was quite garbled.
“Don't be silly!” I said, “I missed you from far” —
“And remembered how wonderful each of you are!”

Their eyes, how they twinkled! Their smiles, how merry!
The pizzas just made it like ice cream with cherries!
They gathered around me and made me feel grand,
It all was proceeding better than planned.

Always there when you need them, tight in all ways,
And I hoped that I was always there for them too;
Not a figurehead boss
But one that'd “jump in the stew.”

A leader who can admit she's not always perfect,
And one whose “been there” and can relate and can click.
And I laughed when I saw that in spite of my flaws;
I've empowered a team that inspires such awe.

When I head home, I have nothing to dread;
This team has “got it,” I can hop into bed.
So filled with good feelings, all happy inside,
We had pizza and treats, my staff by my side.

As I grabbed my coat, I gave a big smile,
Then they flew to tasks that would take quite a while.
But they heard me exclaim, as I drove out of sight —
“Happy New Year to all, and to all a good night!”

Just keeping it real — and wishing all a Happy New Year!
-Nurse Jackie


The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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The Real Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.

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