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 the work each of you do!

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Michelle Gilliland, MSN, RN, CNN

Strategic Tablo Account Resource Manager (STAR Manager)
Outset Medical
Bennington, NE
Platte River Chapter #324

How long have you been a nurse?

20 years.

How long have you been in nephrology?

20 years. I began my career in nephrology as a patient care technician (PCT) over 25 years ago. At the time, business administration and marketing seemed like a perfect career path. While completing these majors, and serving as a certified PCT, the renal patients whom I cared for and renal care providers whom I worked alongside captured my heart. Over time, as I learned about acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease, my career ambitions transitioned to earning my bachelor’s and then master’s of science in nursing.

Why do you love nephrology nursing?

Nephrology nursing offers something for everyone in the nursing profession, from the chronic, home, acute, to transplant settings with focus of care for adults or pediatric patients. Nursing professionals can choose to focus their career on direct patient care, clinical management, quality assurance, regulatory, operations, research, or corporate-level projects. They can move laterally or upward throughout their career. The opportunities to grow and serve in this specialty practice are endless.

What is unique about nephrology nursing?

Nephrology nursing is a community like no other. Within this specialty practice, there are numerous niches designed to address and meet patients where they are in the kidney injury or kidney disease process. Experts from each of these niches collaborate as patients move from one area in the process to another. Kidney patients are valued and treated as individuals and with respect by renal professionals who follow their health, often for decades. Many renal professionals describe their patients as an extension of their family.

What one word would you use to describe nephrology nursing?

Perseverance – because nephrology nurses continuously seek better treatments, solutions, and ideally a cure for patients with kidney disease.

What do you value you the most about your ANNA membership?

ANNA offers nurses like me opportunities to progress. Expert nephrology nurses make themselves available to mentor and grow new nurses in the profession. If you dream of being published, ANNA will work with you to make it happen. If your dream is to grow into a leadership role, ANNA will connect you with strong leaders who are willing to mentor you. Whatever your professional dreams, ANNA is there for every member.

Do you have a favorite patient story?

I recall the first time I witnessed a patient being called in for transplant. What an amazing moment! This patient has maintained their kidney transplant for over 15 years.

What would you tell a newly practicing nurse about nephrology nursing?

Be a fierce advocate for your patients. Learn from experts who are willing to mentor you. Be grateful for all your blessings in life.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working as a nurse?

I enjoy the simple things in life – family dinners, movies, and cuddling my new grandson.

Share a fun fact about yourself.

I was a freelance writer for a local newspaper, Nebraska Grassroots.

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