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.

If you would like to be featured, try using 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.

Kristina Baumer, BSN, RN

Clinical Manager
Thornton Kidney Center
Thornton, CO
High Country Chapter #502

How long have you been in nursing?

Over 8 years

How long have you been in nephrology?

13 years

Why do you love nephrology?  

Let me start by explaining how I became interested in nephrology. I was going to school to become a medical assistant and preparing for the period in my training when I would begin a 6-week externship. At the time, I was working the night shift as a certified nursing assistant at the Medical Center of Aurora, and we would weigh certain patients and then take them to a particular room. One day I had time to sit with the nurse in that room and asked why we needed to weigh the patients. The nurse’s name was Mama Jo. She explained dialysis to me, and I was instantly awestruck. The next day at school, I requested to do my externship at a dialysis unit. I was told I needed to watch a video and then I could be set up at a dialysis unit. I watched the video and got even more excited about dialysis. I was 8 months pregnant when I began my externship, and I worked hard with the hope the facility would hire me. After my 6-week externship, the facility offered me a position, and that is how I started my career in nephrology.

I love nephrology because of the closeness you develop with the patients and the team members with whom you work. I have worked in several different areas in the medical field since September 1995, and nephrology is a specialty that continues to challenge me every day. I continue to learn every day. In nephrology, there is always an opportunity to learn, increase your knowledge, and expand your career.

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

I love that ANNA members receive free CE opportunities every month, and we also can purchase CE sessions if we need more for certification or recertification. I love being a member of ANNA and the opportunity to attend local and national meetings. I was a secretary for my local ANNA chapter a few years ago and again in 2018. I am in the process of studying to take the Certified Nephrology Nurse (CNN) exam. I have been using the material from the ANNA website and getting helpful hints by asking questions online through ANNA Connected discussion groups.

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

I used to work in the acute setting, and I had a patient who had been in the hospital or long-term acute care for over a year. Valentine’s Day was approaching, and he was sad because he was not going to be able to go shopping for his wife. I asked him what he would like to get her. He told me, and after I completed my shift for the day, I went to the store, purchased the gift he wanted to get his wife, and brought the gift to him. When I dialyzed him again a few days later, all he could talk about was how his wife loved the gift and how good that made him feel. Knowing my patients and knowing that doing just a little something for them can go such a long way makes this job worth it every day.

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

Being with my family.

Share an interesting fact about yourself.

I have a bucket list and I try to do something on it every year.