Nurse Johnson had faithfully worked for twenty years at the same hospital. She always came in on time and never left early. She almost never had time off for illness or any other unplanned activity, not even for when her Mother died. So you can imagine how angry and upset she was when she found out that an external, much more junior, nurse had been given the job of ward sister instead of her?

One day the nurse Johnson could take it no longer and burst into the Director of Nursing’s office and there, right in front of the new ward sister, she said “I am sorry for interrupting but I cannot keep it to myself any longer. It’s disgraceful! I have worked very hard for this hospital, never shirking from my duty and this young lady just waltzes in, flashes a fancy diploma and gets the job I have worked so hard for, it’s simply not fair! What has she got that I haven’t?”

The director was so angry by the nurses’ interruption that she temporarily lost her sense of diplomacy. “Ward Sister Judith has nine years of excellent experience and I chose her because I believe that she will make an outstanding contribution to the hospital!”

“Nine years’ experience” Said nurse Johnson. “I have over twenty years’ experience!”

“No you don’t!” snapped the Director of Nursing, not bothering to hide her frustration. “You have only one year of experience followed by nineteen years of service! Nurse Johnson, let me be frank with you.

The way I see it is, you’ve spent the last nineteen years doing your first year over and over again; resisting anything new and refusing to adapt to the hospital’s needs of today.  One year of learning from an elderly nurse and nothing ever since is not what I call experience, now please get back to your duties and let me continue with my meeting!”

Sometimes our lessons come too late as in the case for nurse Johnson, and sometimes they never come at all.

Have a good week,