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!

If you would like to be featured, participate in our online community, ANNA Connected. Members are featured in the Member Spotlight based on their engagement in ANNA Connected, so start connecting, talking, and getting to know other ANNA members via ANNA Connected.

Cheryl Cress, RN, CNN

Home Dialysis Nurse Coordinator
Washington University
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis Metro Chapter #307

How long have you been a nurse?

I have been a nurse for 38 years. I graduated from Jewish Hospital School of Nursing in 1984.

How long have you been in nephrology?

I started working in hemodialysis in 1986.

What is unique about nephrology nursing?

Nephrology nursing is ever changing. Although the concept of dialysis has not changed in the last 36 years, the technology certainly has. There are always new ideas, medications, and equipment evolving, which makes each day a new challenge.

What do you value most about your ANNA membership?

I enjoy the opportunity to network and brainstorm with others in the field. ANNA Connected gives everyone the opportunity to see how other clinics handle issues. The educational opportunities are also huge!

Do you have a favorite patient story?

I have many stories, but the one that had the most impact involved the first patient that I trained for home hemodialysis 12 years ago. I knew this patient for many years in the center. When I moved to the home department, she wanted to know how she could move with me. I explained that she would need to do her hemodialysis at home, which would require self-cannulation. (I knew her family members would not like to do this. Remember, I knew her – and her family – for many years). The next time I saw her, she was self-cannulating! We transitioned her to the home department for training, which she mastered very quickly. After being on home hemodialysis for about 1 month, she called me to let me know what she did that day. She said that she was able to do the laundry. I was confused because I knew she was always able to do these things. She said to me that I did not understand. She dialyzed in the morning, then did the laundry downstairs. She had never been able to go up and down the stairs after dialysis before! That was quite eye-opening for me.

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

Nephrology nursing is ever changing. It is the best of both worlds. You form long lasting relationships with the patients and their families, and you have the opportunity to work with technology.

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

I enjoy spending time with my family. Both of my sons are grown and married, but we still find time to travel together or just spend time together. One of our favorite things to do involves solving mysteries.

Share an interesting fact about yourself.

Besides working as a home dialysis nurse, I have had the opportunity to work at MidAmerica Transplant prn for the last several years, starting CRRT treatments on donor patients. Once the treatments are started, the nurses can monitor the treatments. MidAmerica Transplant is unique in that they have an off-site ICU where they move the organ donors until they can arrange for organ transplants. It is exciting when I hear that they were able to transplant working kidneys on patients who required CRRT.

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