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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Kimberly McLaughlin, RN, CDN
Clarion Dialysis Center of American Renal Associates
Clarion, PA
Three Rivers Chapter #104

 

How long have you been in nursing? 

I have been a nephrology RN for 23 years. I went to nursing school late in life. My background was finance, marketing, and sales so nursing was a huge challenge.

How long have you been in nephrology?

23 years

Why do you love nephrology?  

I loved the nephrology aspect of nursing on my first rotation! I was hired in 1994 after I graduated. It was extremely hard and stressful my first year, but now I run the acute program for two hospitals. Both are in a rural locations in Pennsylvania (about 100 miles north of Pittsburgh). One is very small, and the other is a medium-sized hospital. The 15-plus hour days can be challenging, though. Technical aspects are always interesting, and I love working with the hospital staff. I love that I have a lot of autonomy in my job. My nephrologist is great! He writes standard orders, but I often am able to do other things if I am having trouble with a patient. I obtain an order always! In the acute setting, I get to teach to patients, families, and students. I love students!

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

I like being a member of ANNA because I can stay up to date on medical and nursing issues. The Open Forum is helpful in that!

Do you have a favorite patient story that reminds you why it's all worth it?

I have had a lot of favorite patients, but one is very special. I knew her prior to dialysis. One morning, she was to be dialyzed in the hospital. I bought her a local paper she could read and she was insisting on paying me. We were laughing and all of a sudden, she arrested. I almost died right there. I hit the code button and an IV team RN who was outside the room came right in. CPR was initiated, and she was taken to ICU. Thankfully, she recovered! She told everyone that came into the room that I saved her life. No more arguing over paying for the newspaper! The doctors loved her. She arrested two more times that week on dialysis, as she was a very high-risk patient with multiple comorbidities. She was my favorite patient! She later went into hospice care. Her family was so grateful for the care.

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

I rescue, trap, spay, and neuter feral cats. I’m a huge animal lover and active with the U.S. Humane Social and Legislative Fund. I am the proud mom of eight cats and one dog named China. Two cats were inherited from a coworker who became ill. It's interesting at my house! Every animal gets baths and haircuts every 3 months.

I’m also an avid reader. I love to walk, water ski, and I work out regularly. I’m active in my church with missions projects. I also worked part-time from 2012 to 2016 for Visiting Nurses, which helped me become a better RN. I was diagnosed in 2000 with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), so I am very health-conscious. 

What’s an interesting fact about you?

As the cartoonist Sandra Boynton put it, "I love chocolate . . . as in I love to breathe."

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