ANNA Member Spotlight

Welcome to ANNA's monthly member spotlight. ANNA is a vibrant organization because of nurses like you! Your diverse experiences and unique perspectives make us a collective whole that is a masterpiece. We are proud of all the work each of you do.

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Todd Varner, BSN, RN
Dialysis RN
Pinnacle Health
Harrisburg, PA
Susquehanna Valley Chapter #130

 

How long have you been in nursing?

I’ve been an RN for 14 years. I wanted to be a military aviator. I have a private pilot license but gave up that pursuit as I learned more about myself. I graduated Geneva College with a BS degree in biology and an associate's degree in professional piloting (1997). While searching for medical jobs, I worked as a forklift operator in a cabinet factory. Three years later, in 2000, I landed an outpatient dialysis job as a PCT and used it to launch a nursing career. I earned an associate's degree in nursing from Harrisburg Area Community College in 2004 and a BSN from Liberty University in 2017. I switched to hospital dialysis in 2013, learned peritoneal dialysis and plasmapheresis, and took a dialysis clinical manager position.

How long have you been in nephrology?

Nephrology has been the totality of my 14+ years in nursing. I have no aspirations to do anything else.

Why do you love nephrology?  

I love the clients, understand them, and enjoy helping them live/share life. Helping nephrology nurses grow is a privilege. Nephrology is a challenge of blood chemistry, fluid and electrolytes, anemia management, and endocrinology. It requires solid psychology and interpersonal skills.

What is your favorite ANNA member benefit and/or what do you love about being a member of ANNA?

ANNA is invaluable to nephrology nurses. I learned much of what I know from ANNA-sponsored educational conferences, books, and articles. Many of the nurses I met at conferences have become contacts on some level. The discussion groups in ANNA Connectes are a great medium for learning from each other and sharing experience. Through ANNA, I feel supported as a nurse in a sea of medical and nursing professionals who know little about dialysis. ANNA is the place to learn.

What are your favorite hobbies and/or pastimes outside of nursing?

I enjoy a rural life: hunting, fishing, camping, and backpacking. I am an avid handgun target shooter. I enjoy history: ancient Greek, Roman, Biblical, Dark Ages in Europe, and World War I and II. Occasionally, I perform singing and acting roles locally.

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