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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Barbara Orze, MSN, RN

Travel Dialysis Nurse
Chicago, IL
Windy City Chapter #305

How long have you been in nursing?

I've been a nurse for almost 43 years.

How long have you been in nephrology?

The last 10 years or so of my career have been in nephrology nursing.

Why do you love nephrology?  

Nephrology nursing saved my career and gave me the opportunity to continue to contribute to the profession. Prior to getting into nephrology, I spent many years working in an open-heart recovery ICU. After some life changes and 6 months off from work, I landed a job in an inpatient hemodialysis unit. This position forced me to learn many new things and steered me back into nursing. It also allowed me to continue working intermittently in the ICU, where I could get my critical care “fix.” In addition, it prepared me to enter the world of travel nursing, something I had wanted to do for a long time — as a way to see more of this country while seeking a potential retirement location. I loved going to work every day, learning new things, and always challenging myself to provide the best treatment I could while keeping my patients out of trouble.

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

I have been a member of ANNA almost from the beginning of my career in nephrology nursing. I have always appreciated the educational offerings provided online. Even when living in a large metropolitan area, the "in person" educational opportunities specific to dialysis nurses are not that numerous. I also strongly support certification for nurses. While I was a CNN for 6 years, I let my certification lapse when I thought I would no longer be working, but I guess I was not quite ready to hang up my stethoscope!

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

In my past 4 years as a travel nurse, I have met many wonderful and many challenging patients. I have learned from my peers and had the opportunity to experience living in other parts of the country. Because I strongly believe that each of my patients is special and each encounter has to be the best I can provide, it is hard for me to single out any one as the best or the most influential. When you look for "special," you will find it, and I think I find it every day!

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

While I did find somewhere I think would be a nice place to retire, my husband needs to be convinced of it, and that's no easy task. Perhaps I will fulfill one or two more contracts in the meantime and look for places where I can do the things I like to do on my off time: cycling, hiking, reading historical novels about United States history (I love Generals Grant and Sherman!), and indulging in a good craft beer from time to time. 

Share an interesting fact about yourself.

As I try to come to a decision about retirement, I have had to face the reality that, as a travel nurse, I have not been in the thick of things. I gave up being an influence in practice and policy and procedure decisions, but I know that my experience could still be valuable — somewhere. As a former manager and nurse practitioner in cardiovascular surgery, my perspective is much broader than most of my colleagues, but my influence in nephrology is limited. I wish I could change the business model mentality that I encounter from time to time in my travels. And I wonder about what the profession of nursing will look like in 5 or 10 years when so many of us are retired.