Anne Jordan has been working as a registered nurse (RN) for almost 38 years. I have had the pleasure of working with Anne for 3 years. I asked Anne if I could interview her for my blog and she replied with – “Of course, young man!” After exchanging a couple of texts, we met at the recently opened Starbucks at St Clair Ave W & Runnymede Rd on July 25, 2019 (Thursday @ 1000) for this interview. The duration of this interview was 16 minutes and 28 seconds.
Urgen Kuyee (UK): Hi Anne, why don’t you let my readers know a little bit about yourself? Which school did you go to? How long have you been a registered nurse (RN) for?
Anne Jordan (AJ): Sure. I went to Ryerson University and I graduated in 1982 as a registered nurse (RN). I worked in nursing ever since so 38 years nearly. Most of my time at one place, Runnymede Healthcare Centre but I have done lots of other fields in nursing. I have done long term care, I have done visiting nursing. I started at Wellesley, then they closed Wellesley and I went to Runnymede.
UK: What led to nursing? Why nursing?
AJ: Oh my god, funny. I was in dentistry prior at the University of Toronto (U of T), 9 months to graduate and I dropped out. I knew I would never be a dentist. I have got 5 sisters so my youngest sister was enrolled in the PhysED, sports medicine program at U of T. And, she dropped out at the same time. She said to me one day, do you want to be a nurse? I said, yeah. So, we did the nursing program together. Very easy program for us because all that credits were transferred from our previous programs. So, it was the best $500 I have invested in my life.
UK: What advice would you give to a novice nurse? Like, someone that’s just starting his/her nursing career?
AJ: Make sure you are in for the right reason. Money is good but you have to be in it for a long time to get there. When you start, make sure you contribute to your pension plan, very important. Lastly, enjoy the ride.
UK: What are some of the best memories of your nursing career and what are some of the challenges you have faced?
AJ: My best memories are all the people I have met, all of them, good, bad, you name it. You will learn a lot about people. I have learned a lot about nursing. I have learned a lot about myself, what I am capable of.
The challenges are as I have aged, I am 63 now. In my last 10 years, all the change in technology has been a challenge. It is getting more and more challenging. Pyxis? Did you do it?
UK: Not yet. Did you do it?
AJ: I did it and I am dreading (Laughs). So, I think technology is one of my challenges. Secondly, I see the decline in care, in standards and it hurts me because I am old school.
UK: I mean you graduated in 1982.
AJ: Yes. Old old school. For me, the patient is the most important.
UK: Why do you think it is important to work together with the inter-professional healthcare team members? PT/OT Team? Dietitian? Social Worker? Pharmacist? Nurse Practitioner? Activation?
AJ: Well, because the patient is the focus. Everybody has a part in that patient you know. Getting them well, stable, comfortable whatever the goal is, we all have a part to play. And, that includes family as well. That is why its not working against each other, which we do. We shouldn’t. But it is in our nature sometimes to be the bad person. But that’s why it is so important to work together because if we don’t work together, we fail for the patient. It is important to understand one another’s role and provide the best care for the patient. That is our goal.
UK: I agree with you one thousand percent. I think especially with the PT/OT team because we work with them close and bedside. Yes, there will be some form of tension or conflict between the nursing and PT/OT team for sure but like you said, it’s important to work together as a team. Personally, I sometimes tend to forget to give pain medication before a patient’s therapy session and the PT/OT team members have confronted me. Well, not confronted (laughs) but they have addressed the issue with me in a fair manner and I am cool with it.
UK: Anne, how long have you been contributing to HOOPP?
AJ: I am no longer contributing to HOOPP. Since I retired in 2012, my contribution stopped. I decided that. I mean you can continue contributing after you retire but my pension was good enough. I still work casual, that’s a choice. I really don’t have to work. When I joined HOOPP, there was a two year waiting period and so, I started contributing to HOOPP in 1984. Let’s do the math. I paid into HOOPP for almost 28 years. They say max is 30 years so I guess pretty near max.
UK: After contributing to HOOPP for almost 30 years, how much do you receive from HOOPP?
AJ: I get $3950 gross from HOOPP and I choose to have it taxed at the source. Some people don’t, some people want the entire amount and pay their tax when it is tax time. But for me, I deduct $550 and I still pay tax because I still work as a casual RN. When I stop working, it will be enough to cover that.
UK: Do they send you checks every month, bi-weekly? Is it direct deposit? How does it work? Or, maybe they pay you in bitcoin?
AJ: Monthly. It is direct deposit. It is the first day of the month. But, if it falls on a Saturday or a stat, then it’s deposited on the Friday before.
UK: Do you get CPP as well? Canada Pension Plan.
AJ: I do. I started HOOPP early at 56 and then started getting CPP at 60. So, there is a deduction or a penalty for taking early pension with HOOPP but I was advised by my financial advisor and I still think that was the best decision for me. Sure, I mean if I left it there until 65, it would be more but I would also miss 9 years of $700 a month. So, it made more sense to do it. Everyone’s situation is different and you should pick the best one for yourself. I would suggest to do your own research and seek professional help if needed.
UK: Do the checks from CPP come on the same dates as HOOPP or different dates?
AJ: CPP checks come at a different date. CPP checks comes out the same date as unemployment and all that. Its the third last banking day of the month. And, so every mall and every bingo is full of those people who get their checks on those days. So, stay home on those days (Laughs).
UK: How about Old Age Security (OAS)? Do you get that as well?
AJ: I am old but not that old. So, at 65, you get OAS. But, what happens to your HOOPP is until you are 65, HOOPP gives a bridge benefit. For me, my bridge is the tax they take off. At 65, I lose that $550 but I get six something I think it is for old age security. So, I don’t change much, I get better financially.
UK: Lastly, why do you think it is important for the younger generation to save and plan ahead for retirement? Why is it important for a young nurse, a young PT or a young dietitian to join HOOPP? Perhaps you can share your experience as well.
AJ: Well, it got me where I am now because I planned my retirement date from the day I started working. I said it is going to be in 2012 and I made it. That’s because of that planning. Currently, my CPP is around $850 but I tax it at the source. So, in my retirement, my monthly income from both HOOPP and CPP is over $4000. Who can say that? And, that is because of the pension.
Nowadays, it is not a criticism but most young people don’t think ahead. My son is 27 and he can’t think about next week, never mind 30 years. I wish young people would think ahead a little bit more both in their careers and finances. You are a young man as well Urgen.
UK: Anne, I am a young man or I am a handsome young man. Which one is it?
AJ: (Laughs). And you know, I am not saying there has been no rough times, there have been but if you are prepared, its not so rough. That’s the whole thing, in both, career and finance. For the younger generation, it is very important to join something like HOOPP. You won’t even realize you are saving as the contribution is automatic and the money is tucked away before the checks arrive or direct deposit in our case. However, you have to opt in the plan. Some don’t and sadly, their retirement pay the price.
UK: Thank you so much, Anne.
AJ: No problem.
This interview has been edited and condensed. Thanks to Anne Jordan for her contributions, all errors are mine.