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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Nancy Colobong Smith, MN, ARNP, CNN
Renal and Transplant Clinical Nurse Specialist
University of Washington Medical Center
Seattle, Washington
ANNA Greater Puget Sound Chapter #503

 

How long have you been in nursing? 

Almost 21 years

How long have you been in nephrology?

As long as I have been a nurse!

Why do you love nephrology?  

There are many reasons I love nephrology nursing. I love being able to help patients learn more about their kidney disease so they feel empowered to make decisions and can improve their own quality of life. There are a variety of roles nephrology nurses can have across the continuum of care from CKD, dialysis, transplant, and palliative care. Some of the roles are very autonomous, which is satisfying. Diabetes and hypertension run in my family so, by increasing awareness of these chronic diseases, I can help other families slow the progression of or prevent kidney disease, too.  

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

There are so many benefits that it is hard to choose one. I appreciate the education that has helped me grow professionally and as a leader. I have wonderful experiences participating in conferences at the local and national level, volunteer leadership workshops, webinars, and reading the journal. Not only have I gained knowledge, but I have also made friends and colleagues that inspire and mentor me, too.

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

I was asked to meet with a patient who was new to dialysis in the hospital who seemed to be having a hard time. I asked her a question that I learned from the palliative care team – “Tell me about your kidney function.” To my surprise, she told me: “My kidneys do not work. I am now on that machine (points to the hemodialysis machine), and I am going to die.” After almost an hour of discussing what her past experiences had been with dialysis and health care, I was able to educate her about the functions of the kidney, dialysis, and her options. At the end of our conversation, she said that “nurses are angels” and she thanked me for taking the time to talk to her since she now had a new view of her situation.

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

I enjoy crafts – scrapbooks, knitting, painting, sewing, and anything involving colors and textures. I also love visiting National Parks with my husband and children. I find the variety of landscapes and wild beauty inspiring.

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