Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

More than enough

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I have a confession to make.

I recognize that I must confess to… well, I must confess to… to… to…

Not being exactly sure about how to proceed, I suppose it might be wise to be honest.

On occasion throughout my life, I have periodically engaged in certain activities to excess.

Who, for example, has NOT eaten too much during the holidays? And who has not ever driven above the posted speed limit? Who has never stayed up too late? Who has never imbibed too much spiritous beverage? Who has never outstayed their welcome? Never boiled a pot dry? Burned cooking food? Talked too loudly or long?

The list is seemingly endless, isn’t it?

However, my most recent recognition of excess was quite striking – and interestingly so, I might add.

All Nursing professionals – and I am one – are, by various states’ laws, rules or regulations (according to the various state(s) where licensed), required to obtain annual continuing education credits, sometimes also referred to as CEUs, or Continuing Education Units, during the period of licensure, which may be typically two years.

Exactly 23 states – with one additional state anticipating participation this year, totaling 24 – participate in a “License Compact” in which a valid license in one state is valid in others. It’s very similar to the model for a Driver’s License. An Oregon driver license, for example, is valid in the other 49 states (and vice versa), and a moving violation given in one state will be automatically reported to the driver’s home state of license.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing describes it this way: “The mutual recognition model of nurse licensure allows a nurse to have one license (in his or her state of residency) and to practice in other states (both physical and electronic), subject to each state’s practice law and regulation. Under mutual recognition, a nurse may practice across state lines unless otherwise restricted.  This is referred to as a multi-state nurse licensure model, specifically referred to as the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC).

Alabama’s neighboring states MS, TN & GA all participate, while AL does not. Of interesting note, recently, Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed an emergency order temporarily allowing Nurses licensed in other states to practice in FL.

Why?

There’s a shortage of Nurses!

The problem is nationwide, and well-known. Its arrival, brewing like the proverbial hurricane or “perfect storm,” was predicted well in advance. There were, and are, signs.

But on those points, I digress. More to the point of excess.

Alabama’s State Board of Nursing requires licensees to earn at least 24 hours every two years as a requisite of licensure.

Having recently received a license renewal notification from another state (California) I was concerned that I might be in serious arrears, so I set out to visit the websites of the Alabama Board of Nursing and the Alabama Department of Public Health, both from which I have earned CEUs. It also just so happened that, the very same day, I was feeling somewhat in a “sorry for myself” mood (aka the “mullygrubs”).

So, imagine my serious surprise and utter amazement when I saw that the ABN website indicated I had earned very nearly 5 semester hours of CEUs! At 15 contact hours for every 1 academic semester credit hour, that worked out to be almost 75 CEUs!

Imagine that! Almost 75 CEUs! That’s phenomenal! That was in a one year period. And there are still 10 months remaining in the earning year!

So there I was, in self-pity mood, feeling that I haven’t done anything, blah, blah, blah… and then, THIS!

Seventy-five hours of CEUs!

Dang! I guess I have been doing something!

What is it, and why do we think as we so often do, that we do less than we think we do? As a first-born, I suppose I “struggle” with achievement. I know I can do more, and mentally beat myself up when I don’t achieve the objectives/goals I set for myself.

My Spiritual Director said I should be more kind to myself.

Seventy-five hours of CEUs! That’s pretty good!

I’m not in the mullygrubs, anymore!

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