Nurses play a key role in dialysis and transplant patient care, going back to the establishment of the first artificial kidney center in Seattle in 1962. Since 2005, the American Nephrology Nurses Association has devoted the second week in September each year to Nephrology Nurses Week to recognize the contributions of the nephrology nurse to the kidney care team.
“Being a nurse can sometimes feel like a thankless job, constantly putting the needs of others above our own,” said Mandy Hale, RN, vice president of nursing for DaVita Kidney Care. “We want our nurses to know how deeply appreciated they are for delivering selfless compassion and competent care to more than 225,000 DaVita patients.”
DaVita has launched its THRIVE program to help empower nurses and support their development. The 5-month program — which allows participants to shadow local nurses and receive centralized training in multiple U.S. regions — was designed to develop high-potential nurses, clinical coordinators and clinic nurse managers for positions in operation management.
Additionally, DaVita leaders hold nurse roundtable discussions where U.S.-based nurses gather in Denver at DaVita's headquarters to spend a day brainstorming and sharing ideas about patient care and nursing. The goal of the roundtable discussions is to improve the care delivery and gather ideas for future initiatives, DaVita said in a press release.
DaVita is also piloting a program called Bridge to Your Dreams, which aims to create a new pipeline of registered nurses by supporting high-performing patient care technicians (PCTs) who want to make the transition from PCT to RN. Through this program, DaVita provides fully funded tuition, scheduling assistance to help manage and balance work, school and family commitments, professional coaching and assistance with role placement.
Scholarship for nurses
Fresenius Medical Care North America marked the special week by making a $100,000 contribution to ANNA, which also marks its 50th anniversary this year. The donation will fund an ongoing scholarship program, help increase awareness of the profession and strengthen engagement with nurses dedicated to caring for patients with chronic kidney disease, according to a Fresenius press release.
FMCNA and ANNA will allocate $20,000 of the contribution to five $4,000 scholarships to nephrology nurses to further their education. The remaining contribution will provide FMCNA nurses with support to advance their nursing education and to participate in advocacy and networking opportunities through discounted 2019 ANNA membership rates.
“Nephrology nurses provide compassionate, individualized care every day to people living with kidney disease,” said Franklin Maddux, MD, FACP, chief medical officer and executive vice president for clinical and scientific affairs at FMCNA. “Nephrology nurses forge deep connections with patients to help them thrive during their dialysis journey, and we are committed to providing the support nurses need to deliver superior patient care every day.”