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He said what?! An “only in nursing” story from one seasoned nurse

Have you ever thought about leaving the bedside…for the boardroom? In partnership with Interim HealthCare, we’re talking to nurses across the country who have done just that! Here, Darlyn Baker shares about transitioning from the world of nursing to the world of business, the funniest thing she’s ever heard on the job and a “you know you’re a nurse when” story that you’ll think could come from your own career!

Darlyn Baker 1-2014Name: Darlyn Baker, RN

Franchise location: Bakersfield, CA

What type of nurse are you? A great one!! 😉 Med-surg was what I enjoyed most when I worked in the hospital for 27 years, but I have peds, L&D and psych experience.

Where did you work before starting your franchise and for how long? Mercy Hospital, Bakersfield, CA – 15 years; nursing instructor (concurrently) – Bakersfield College, Bakersfield, CA – 9 years; Elizabeth General Hospital, Elizabeth, NJ – 7 years; Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Warren, OH – 3 years and Seoul Military Hospital as a DAC (Department of Army Civilian) – 13 months; Akron City Hospital, Akron, OH – 1 year.

When and why did you choose to leave bedside nursing and start a franchiseThe delivery of care had changed several times, for the worse, since I graduated from a 3-year diploma school in 1966 and the patient was no longer the focus. Nursing was always a service but I realized it was becoming a commodity. Secondly, I saw the patients leaving sicker and quicker and I realized their family/friends had to do what it took me years to feel comfortable doing. With my experience and confidence, I knew I could make a difference as I felt at ease explaining how procedures are to be done with what the family had available in their home.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Being in total control of how care is provided, choosing competent clinicians and the freedom of being my own boss. 

What’s the best part of being a business owner? Being able to make changes instantly, unlike “paralysis by analysis” in a corporate setting. Having the opportunity to take my ideas and put them into practice, and job security. 

What’s the funniest thing anyone’s ever said to you on the job? You look too young to have grey hair.” That was in 1979 when I was 34 years old! :)

Can you share an “only in nursing!” story from your own career with usOnly in nursing would you start an IV, admit a patient back from surgery, get someone a pain shot, admit a new patient, get someone fresh water, clean a patient who was incontinent, remove sutures, walk a patient in the hall, console a family, pass meds, insert a Foley catheter, hang another IV bag all within minutes of each task and still smile while gritting your teeth when a doctor bellows, “I’m here to make rounds. I need a nurse.” 

If you could have dinner with any nurse–real or fictional, living or not–who would it be and why? It would be RN Melva R. She was an evening supervisor at a hospital who worked above and beyond her scheduled shifts to cover for illness, vacation, etc. When the minimum requirement for an RN became a bachelor’s degree, which she did not have, she was relieved of her many years of service and reassigned to the long-term care unit. She was just a few years away from retirement. I felt so bad for her as I was concerned about her self-worth. I told myself then, if I ever had an opportunity to do something nice for her, I would.

Well, that opportunity came when I became a business owner and she had retired from the hospital by then. I hired her and she used her nursing skills to provide care to a child in the child’s home. Realizing the work ethic and value of those who were retired, I began my Retire to Hire program. And it was all because of Melva. She retired from our company a few years ago. I’ve lost touch with her, but her demotion is something that will remain in my heart forever. I think of her often and try to make a difference for at least one person every day. I never talked with her about how what happened to her affected me. I would love to have dinner with her to tell her how much she was appreciated and what a great nurse and caring person she was. 

 

Interim HealthCare® provides the flexible assignments you need to fit your life and your priorities. As America’s leading provider of home care, hospice and healthcare staffing, chances are, we have the right assignment to fit your life’s needs as well as the resources and opportunities to help you with your career. To apply online, visit www.careersbyweb.com. To find out more about becoming a franchisee, visit www.interimfranchising.com. To like us on Facebook, click here

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5 Responses to He said what?! An “only in nursing” story from one seasoned nurse

  1. roseraintree

    I wish there were more who though like you Darlyn. I graduated in 1980 with an Associate degree and worked steadily in many areas of nursing and became very skilled in most of them. I saw the handwriting on the wall and returned to school at 60 and obtained over the next 8 years my BSN, MHA, and MSN in the hopes to work in the profession I have devoted 35 years of my life to for many more years. As I am smart, experienced and educated and yet age discrimination forced me to retire last year long before I was ready to do so. I still feel sad not only for myself but fo the loss to the profession that my years of experience and education could be providing. But age and experience seems has no value in this profession which is a major loss for us all.

  2. mistifymistify

    To Darlyn Baker RN: THANK YOU FOR REALIZING AND ACKNOWLEDGING RN MELVA R. VALUE AND WORTH. WE SEE THIS HAPPENING DAILY WHERE VALUABLE RNS ARE BEING DEMOTED BY THIS SHIFT TOWARDS CAPITALISM AND AWAY FROM SERVICE. IT USED TO BE THAT EXPERIENCE WAS THE BEST TEACHER. I FEEL FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE IS ROLLING IN HER GRAVE AT THIS UNJUST ATTITUDE THAT EXIST TODAY. BE ASSURED THAT RN MELVA R KNEW HOW YOU FELT. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE “TRUE HEART OF NURSING.”

  3. Ellen

    Since when did the minimal requirement for an RN become the bachelor’s degree?

  4. congress

    What an inspiration this women is to nursing!, she has defintely beat the odds by starting her own business! Wish I could join her

  5. DCRandRN

    ” I never talked to her about what happened to her affected me.” Really? Maybe someone should have talked to Melva about how what happened affected HER. I think this story is so characteristic of what is happening to our Profession. Melva did all of these things to help her facility, patients, and coworkers. Her big thank you was a demotion. I wonder how soon after Melva was demoted did the poor performance reviews start, the write ups over petty stuff, all because the facility wanted her gone. I bet if someone could check Melva was replaced with a new nurse for way less dollars per hour, less generous vacation time etc. etc.

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