Supporting our senior nurses – Jane McMurray’s story

Supporting our senior nurses – Jane McMurray’s story

When I was in my 20’s, I began my nursing career at AAMC (then Anne Arundel General Hospital). I started on A3, which was the Medical Unit, then worked on the Postpartum Unit and in Labor & Delivery. Currently, I work on Mother Baby.

Recently, when I turned 62, I faced an interesting challenge. How could I keep doing what I loved—caring for patients at the bedside—while still receiving Social Security benefits?  I knew there was a limit on the amount of money one could make each year and still obtain full benefits, but I needed to wade through the facts.

It was about that time that AAMC’s CNO, Sherry B. Perkins, asked me about my career plans. When she found out I was looking for reduced work hours, she was very supportive.

Shortly thereafter, the Senior Nurse Advisory Council (SNAC) was born at AAMC. The Council was tasked with looking after the interests of senior nurses (45 years and older) in the workplace. 

In my case, this means phased-in retirement. Put simply, I can collaborate with unit and hospital leadership to develop a more flexible work schedule, rather than retire completely.

I took my plan to SNAC and to my clinical director, Joan Sadler. I was happy to learn my career plans were well-received and supported. In January, I will begin my phased in retirement, working eight hours every two weeks. This will allow me to receive Social Security benefits and continue to do what I love, taking care of patients. -Jane McMurray, RNC

11 comments

  1. Posted by Janet Henery, RN, at Reply

    Thanks, Jane…I found this article so very helpful…where did the past 37 years go??? I’ve been a nurse 37+ years, I’m 60 yo and I know I don’t think about “transitioning” into retirement enough. Maybe SNAC can set up some workshops. So glad this was initiated and I would love to join the group if possible.

    Thanks again for paving the way for “boomer nurses” like me!

  2. Posted by Lil Banchero, at Reply

    Thanks everyone for your comments and great suggestions. The major focus of SNAC is to look at strategies to retain senior nurses. Some of the areas SNAC is exploring are the work enviroment of senior nurses,retirment and benefits,mentoring and educational support to name a few. If you are interested in participating please email lbanchero@aahs.org. We would love to have more particaption.

  3. Posted by Lillian Conrad (your best friend), at Reply

    I am so glad that you are figuring all of this out so that when I am as old as you I will I will benefit from your research on the senior workforce 🙂

  4. Posted by Margaret Saul, at Reply

    The idea of “retirement or rehirement” as we know is on the minds of those of us considering our next step. There is a wealth of experience to utilize. Again, the suggestion can be made to utilize the experienced nurse that wishes to work fewer hours but is still fully engaged in patient care, safety and initiative’s.Examples might be QI studies, help with mock tracers,pressure ulcer checks,orientation to a unit ,mentoring the new grad,or instructors in the clinical setting as partners to schools of nursing.
    Margaret Saul

  5. Posted by Betsy Matthews, at Reply

    One of my fellow 1969 grads from Washington Hospital Center is able to work,I believe, 6 days a month and still be elligalbe to keep her insurance. Can AAMC look into something similar?

  6. Posted by Cheryl Walker, at Reply

    When does this Senior Nurse Advisory Council meet? I would love to join it! I 61 years old and have been a nurse for 41 years. I would love to find out how you downsized and can still receive Social Security benefits. Tell me more!

    Thanks,
    Cheryl Walker, RN, BSN, CNOR

  7. Posted by DawnMarie Lombardo, at Reply

    Jane,
    I have often wondered about just that very sort of thing. Leave it to you to pave the way! So glad you did! Good information, keep it coming!

  8. Posted by Jean Judge, at Reply

    When you reach full retirement age (whatever it is for you) you can make as much as you want.

  9. Posted by Kathy Sowa, at Reply

    Very inspiring. How do we find out more about SNAC?

  10. Posted by Kathleen Doyle, at Reply

    I am so glad to know we won’t be losing an outstanding nurse like Jane McMurray to retirement! You’re too young and too valuable to our unit and a wonderful mentor to less experienced nurses. Really gratifying to hear that that hospital was willing to work with you to stay at the bedside!

  11. Posted by phylis burch, at Reply

    Thanks Jane for stressing the importance of supporting our senior workforce. I was not aware of the options available and look forward to extending my career any way possible.

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