geriatrics, home care nurse, Nurse Practitioner

Federal Credentialing Process

Geriatric Nurse Practitioner – October 2009

The Veteran’s Affairs (V.A.) offered me a job as a Nurse Practitioner in Home Care a month ago. They have begun the grueling credentialing process which is more prolonged than any other NP job I’ve ever had. I passed my pre-employment physical last week. My depth perception was not good on the eye test, but it’s adequate to drive safely. For the first time in my life, they tried to take my fingerprints and discovered that they have disappeared. All the years of washing my hands and playing the violin have erased them. The fingerprinter wrote on my application “no fingers” so the VA could still hire me. Otherwise, the computer would have bumped me out of the system. How ludicrous is that to hire a nurse with no fingers?

I met with my boss at the nursing home last week. He was upset that he received the request for a reference letter from the V.A. before I had a chance to tell him personally that I had accepted the position. I tried to meet with him the week before but he never answered my page. He asked why I was leaving? I told him it was mainly because of the increased salary and benefits, and because my patient load had been decreased at the nursing home, making it impossible to meet my monthly goals. I said it would take about another month to get credentialed at the VA, and then I would give four weeks notice. He will talk with the CEO at the nursing home about replacing me. I then informed the other medical staff members. They were all upset at the news of my leaving. Job transitions are never easy for me.

November 24, 2009

“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance” (Psalm 32:7 KJV). The Lord has graciously continued to open doors at the V.A. Two of my former places of employment could not be verified because they have permanently closed. Human Resources finally decided to move forward and gave my file to the Review Board to decide my salary. The nurses voted to bring me in at the highest ever starting salary for an NP which is a 51% increase over my pay at the nursing home. I humbly bowed to my God and said Thank You. It’s all Yours.

I gave two weeks notice at the nursing home which was fine with my boss since they decided to absorb my position. My final day is December 2, so I only have four days remaining. I told my patients yesterday and they all thanked me for my work and wished me well. They asked me to play a farewell concert on my violin for them.

December 3, 2009

My patients gave me a lovely cake and the nurses gave me a gorgeous bouquet of roses at the farewell concert and party. My tears fell as I hugged everyone goodbye and packed up my office. Onward and forward.

Gorgeous farewell roses from the nurses.

 

Farewell cake from my patients at the nursing home.

January 3, 2010

“It is because of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 This New Year, I praise God for His great mercies to me. I have now completed four weeks at my new job and it is going well. The first seven days an hour away at the main hospital were rough because it took me thirteen hours from when I left my home until I returned at night due to the traffic and the snowstorms. Then I discovered the shuttle bus between the two campuses. Some of the others in my orientation group took eleven months to get credentialed. In comparison, my three months of credentialling were like rocket speed.

I especially like working in the clinic with Dr. M. who is a geriatrician and a wonderful teacher. So far, I have enough energy to work fulltime, but am glad for the three day weekends off to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

Reflection

I was relieved that this was my final time to go through the grueling federal credentialing process before I retired. I later joined a committee to try and increase the speed of credentialing. The last I heard, it has improved. I was challenged in adjusting to all the rules and regulations, the slowness with which many things were accomplished, answering to three bosses at all times, and completing the numerous mandatory online continuing education requirements. It was fulfilling to help provide quality care to our elderly veterans, support their families, and keep them comfortable at home for as long as possible.

 

 

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