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dareese MSN, RN

Health Writer, School Nurse, Nurse Practitioner

A freelance nurse health content writer with 37 years nursing experience.

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dareese has 18 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Health Writer, School Nurse, Nurse Practitioner.

Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in her local community clinic and as an RN in home health, rehabilitation, hospital, and school nursing. She utilizes her personal experiences to write from the heart to apply to her writing for various health publications, including BLOGS, newsletters, and educational materials and videos.

Donna is passionate about the profession of nursing and supporting others. Self-care and work-life balance are the focus of her BLOG, Nurses Need Care Too. In addition, Donna runs an online support facebook group, Polymyalgia Rheumatica USA-Our Stories. Her book “The Other Side of the Stethoscope - A Guide to Empathy in Healthcare from a Patient and Nurse Perspective” is in the final editing stage and will be available on Amazon soon.

A Pennsylvania native, Donna, loves to explore new places with her husband, “glamping” and spending time with her two daughters and large and extended family.

dareese's Latest Activity

  1. dareese

    What Was a Highlight of Your Career as a Nurse?

    I love this comment! What a wonderful daughter you are. Lovely sentiment!
  2. dareese

    What Was a Highlight of Your Career as a Nurse?

    Wow!
  3. I was talking with a new nurse graduate and she wanted to know what was a highlight of my career. I had to stop and think a minute. I was wondering what other nurses describe as a highlight of their career? Can you give me any examples?
  4. First of all, I want to congratulate all of the new nurse graduates. Choosing nursing as a career is the best decision that you could have made. You will always have a job. I just wanted to offer you a few tips as you begin your exciting journey as a nurse. 1. Remember, you will always have loads of options in nursing. If you are not satisfied with your job, there is a banquet of other opportunities out there for you outside of hospital nursing. There is no need to be unhappy in a position as a nurse. Set up a profile on LinkedIn, and you will be amazed at what offers come your way. 2. Nurses tend to “eat their young.” Don’t be too surprised about it or take it seriously. Even as a seasoned nurse in a new job, I was subject to the same problem. Find your own colleague friends and ignore those who take pleasure in being nasty. That is their problem. You will rise to the top despite staff who are less than friendly. 3. Remember to incorporate EMPATHY into every contact that you have with a patient or their family. Try to place yourself in their shoes and feel how they feel. A few examples of empathetic contact with patients are: Always look your patient in the eye and greet them by name with a smile. Introduce yourself and that you are an RN, etc. You worked hard to become a nurse, so tell them so! Always ask your patient something personal or, if they are not the type for this kind of conversation, remark about the weather, etc. Just TALK with them! Always ask them how they are doing and feeling. Never leave the room without asking them if there is anything else that they need. Before finishing up each encounter, explain when you will be back and outline the schedule of tests, doctor rounds, changing of shifts, etc. These tips seem so simple, but I can tell you as a nurse and patient, empathetic communication is all but forgotten many times in healthcare. So it bears repeating, especially at this critical juncture in your life. 4. Try not to complain. Nobody likes a complainer. In nursing, I have to tell you there are many reasons to want to complain. But co-workers do not like to hear others griping all of the time. Try to stay positive and keep a light spirit. Keep your grievances to yourself unless they are harmful to the patient or environment. On the flip side, you will need to vent, but save that for those at home or your friends. I had a friend that no matter how hard our nursing job was, I never heard her complain. Her upbeat, enthusiastic personality made her a favorite among the staff and patients. 5. If you do need to take a problem to your supervisor, think it through prior to your meeting. I had an administrator who taught me a fundamental lesson regarding problem-solving. She told me to come to her with all angles of the problem well thought out and with some ideas for solutions. From that day forward, I typed out an outline and came to every meeting well prepared. I am happy to pass that insight on to all of you. 6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You will avoid much frustration and possibly negative repercussion for yourself or patient if you just ask for help when needed. I remember silently sweating out many situations where I was afraid to ask for help as a new grad nurse. As an experienced nurse, I appreciated the young nurses coming to me with questions instead of just forging ahead, often incorrectly, and not knowing what they are doing. Questions are expected and not frowned upon, so ask away and help yourself by doing so. I remember the excitement of starting out as a new nurse. Wishing you all the best. Now go get 'em new grads!
  5. dareese

    Florence Nightingale and Environmental Theory

    I too am a school nurse with many years of experience. Glad to see an article on school nursing! I went for a quick walk daily (when I could get out of my office) to "blow off the germs" so I know where you are coming from regarding the fresh air theory 🙂
  6. dareese

    Is Nursing Still a Good Profession?

    I enjoyed Home Health Nursing very much. In fact, in my 37 years as a nurse, I only worked for 4 years as a hospital nurse. I have a very diverse nursing background but found all kinds of great opportunities as a nurse in the outpatient area. I am now a nurse health content writer and am enjoying the FREEDOM of making my own schedule very much. Thanks for the article.
  7. dareese

    Shout Out to Enteral Parenteral Nurse

    I want to give a shout-out to all of the enteral parenteral nurses out there who help patients with g-tubes. I found out that there was a real need for this specialty nurse when my dad, who had throat cancer, had trouble with his g-tube. Read on to see how one nurse helped him solve his problem. http://nursedonnareese.com/blogs/nurses-need-care-too/19-nnct-featured-stories/26-specialty-nurse-invaluable-in-care-of-patient-with-throat-cancer
  8. Yay, that is awesome! There are some great inexpensive nurse writing courses online, if that will help you. I advise that you get on LinkedIn and see what other nurse writers are doing. I was very fortunate to land a regular gig for a nursing publication that gives me plenty of work. It does not always happen that way. But nurses are in demand for health writing. Feel free to look at my website for some ideas. nursedonnareese.com Good luck! I hope that you love it as much as I do!
  9. Do you feel like you are at your wit's end in your current nursing position? Are you burned out or feel unappreciated at your current job? In general, nursing tends to burn out good employees, and we as nurses keep sticking it out even though we are tired and dissatisfied. But there is no reason to continue to work at a job that drains you and makes you unhappy day after day. As a nurse and mother of 2 daughters in the medical field, I have felt like I need to model healthy work habits for them. And that has meant that I have had to change jobs when the position has made me miserable. I have told my girls that there is no reason to stay in a job where they are unhappy. With their talent and ambition, there are many other good opportunities to pick from. Read on to find out ways to break out of the toxic job that you are currently in and find a new career that you will love! Ways to Get Out of Your Nursing Rut 1. Go Back to School When my children were in elementary school, I was working for a home health company that was expanding quickly. As the company grew, I was promoted higher up the chain of nursing until I became the Director of Nursing. This position entailed setting up offices, training, and overseeing nurses in many states. Although the pay was excellent, and I enjoyed the satisfaction of my employer supporting my talent and hard work, I was spending more and more time away from my family due to extensive travel and work commitments. When I began to miss my children’s sporting events, I decided that a change was needed in my career. After some soul searching, I decided that working as a school nurse would best fit my needs as a working mother. To realize this goal, I needed to earn a certificate as a school nurse, which meant returning to college for specialized nursing courses in this field. I was able to find a school nurse certification program close to home, and within 6 months, I was a certified school nurse. This certificate took me on a 26-year career course as a school nurse, which I found very fulfilling and fit my life and passion as a nurse. 2. Look Around and See What Else is Out There After 26 years in one school district, I once again began to feel the inkling that I was due for a change in my nursing career. I was beginning to grumble and feel unhappy where I was working. The job was the same. It was me that needed to go. I felt stagnant and no longer derived joy from work each day. If you are experiencing similar feelings, there really is no reason to continue down the same avenue day after day. Nursing is in such high demand that you will be shocked at how many job offers you will receive once you “put yourself out there". I signed up on LinkedIn and received daily offers for numerous nursing positions. Many were very interesting and offering excellent pay. I quickly found my “dream job” nearby at a private school that offered both inpatient and outpatient services to challenge me daily. I found great satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment in my new position that utilized all of my old skills and presented me with an abundance of opportunities to grow as a nurse. I was happy and excited again about my career as an RN, which never would have occurred if I didn’t bravely step out of my very convenient comfort zone. 3. Consider an Entrepreneurial Opportunity as a Nurse Do you feel like you are “done” with bedside nursing? Have you had it with the inflexible work hours as a nurse? Recently, I had reached the point where I was sick of the strict hours that nurses need to keep. Many times, we cannot come in late if needed or take off a little early if our kids are ill. In most nursing jobs, calling in sick is frowned upon, and we can get penalized. I always dreaded the pressure from calls from the nursing administrator to come in to work extra hours, weekends, and night shifts due to short staffing. After years of working under this type of pressure and regimented schedule, I felt like I was at a point where I deserved some flexibility in my life without the guilt associated with so many nursing jobs. But what could I do as a nurse where I could make my own schedule? I wanted to work when I felt like it and take time off when the mood struck me. As luck sometimes happens, I came across an advertisement to become a nurse health content writer. I had always loved to write, so I figured why not look into this unique nursing career. I paid my $500.00 for the course, found a few “anchor” clients” to write for, and my career as a freelance nurse writer took off. The hardest part of my entrepreneurial job was learning how to set up my business. All of the trade "lingo" was foreign to me. Words like LLC, business bank accounts, PayPal, domain names, and contracts were not “fun” for me as a nurse as I had never dealt with working on the business end of things. Once I got past the business set up of my new career and just started to write, I once again found immense satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment in my new career. The Take-Away As you can see from this article, changing nursing careers can happen at any time in your lifetime. It is not something for just young nurses or old burned-out nurses. You will know when it is time to start looking around when you are no longer happy in your current job. As I said before, there are so many opportunities for nurses out there today that it is senseless to not take advantage of a new opportunity that may bring you immense fulfillment in your career. All it takes is a little courage, some thought and maybe creativity, a sense of adventure, and a gentle push to help you on your way to a job that you will love. Consider this article your “little push”. Here’s to you and your new nursing career! Ways to Change Career in Nursing1.docx