Turning and Returning to a Love of Nursing

August 28, 2017
Hosted by Leanne Meier, BSN, RN

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Guest Information


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Episode Description

This show is 3 of my students from the RN Refresher course which I teach. They are from 3 different classes and backgrounds. They have not yet met each other. We will have a conversation about what attracted them to Nursing and what brought them back.

Once a Nurse, Always a Nurse

Once a Nurse, Always a Nurse

Monday at 10 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

There are SO many issues in healthcare that impact medical/nursing providers and patients alike, but each of them may not see the connections to themselves. This show will be a forum for nurses to tell stories about their own experiences, whether professional or family-focused and guests will inspire conversation on health and nursing-related topics. Issues will vary from communication in healthcare to current issues, such as nurse/patient ratios, dealing with conflict, how to create cooperative workplaces, speed-reading people, as nursing strikes and much more. Government policies are creating a major shift for all healthcare providers as well as their patients. We, as nurses, will be creating the future healthcare paradigms as we move forward, becoming a crucial part of the solutions. “Once a Nurse, Always a Nurse: Exploring the World of Nursing” is broadcast live every Monday at 10 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica’s Health and Wellness Channel.

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Leanne Meier, BSN, RN

Leanne Meier, BSN, RN

Leanne Meier has worked for forty years as an RN on a variety of hospital units including ICU, Hospice, Med/Surg, Obstetrics and Education Department. She worked with a team to opened the first Single-room Maternity Care in St. Paul, Minnesota. She also managed Labor and Delivery-Post Partum for five years. She was a Human Resources Recruiter coordinating the advertising for open positions of four hospital sites for five years. Leanne led a team during a closure of two hospitals and managed information classes, assisted with placement of laid off workers and fought for fair and respectful treatment of employees while working closely with the State of Minnesota Services. Leanne has also served as a trainer for 15 years with Talent Development researching, designing and training specialized programs. Leanne’s extensive experience includes 17 years of management experience teaching staff how to deal with conflict resolution. She also consulted with mediated conflicts between managers, employees, teams and individuals. She graduated from St. Luke’s Nursing in Duluth in 1976, and completed her BSN at Metro State University in 1997. Leanne attended Hamline University in St. Paul for two years toward a Masters in Writing. She also completed a program with “The Coaches Training Institute” for Personal Coaching. She opened her own business to do classes for the community and currently teaches an RN Refresher course for ten weeks, three times a year, which she has done since 2014.

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Episode Directory

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

Kate Andersen


Katherine Andersen is the Associate Dean of Health Sciences at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN. She oversees the nursing assistant/home health aide and associate degree nursing programs. Katherine earned her associate degree nurse at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights MN later completing her BSN at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul MN and Master’s in Science with a major in Nursing from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus. Following a rewarding pediatric nursing career Katherine became a fulltime nurse educator in the fall of 2006 transitioning to an administrative role in 2011. A strong supporter of BSN education while preserving the access provided by the community college system Katherine views the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) curriculum a great opportunity for Normandale’s program and students. View Guest page

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Anne Bjelland


Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Anne entered the nursing profession later in life. After college in WI and several years in Grand Rapids, MI, Anne moved back to the Twin Cities and trained for a career in IT. Several years later, she had an opportunity to volunteer on a one-week work crew with Deaf Operation Outreach overseas. Upon returning, she took an ASL course at a nearby community college, where many of her classmates were nurses. After researching careers in nursing, she realized that nursing could be an excellent match for her and enrolled in pre-nursing courses on nights and weekends while continuing to work in the corporate world. Since graduating in 2010 with an RN degree, Anne has worked in both home care and long-term care settings. She took an RN Refresher Course after being out of the profession for 3 years. She now enjoys working in home-care nursing. View Guest page

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Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP


Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP is The Inspiration Nurse. She is a powerhouse of energy, wisdom, humor, and solid content and has been referred to as a positive force of nature who lights a path for others to follow. She is an expert blogger at DoctorOz.com and the original “Dear Donna” columnist at Nurse.com. Donna travels the world inspiring and empowering women and healthcare professionals to move beyond fear and live and work to their highest potential. She does that as a keynote speaker, columnist, author, and cut-up. Her accomplished career combines over 25 years of clinical, managerial and business experience, not to mention her stint as a professional singer. Donna’s clinical experience includes emergency and psychiatric nursing. Donna holds a diploma in nursing, a BS in Health Care Management and an MA in Corporate and Public Communication. She was formerly known as the “Healthcare Careers Expert” at Monster.com. View Guest page

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Lynn Johnson


Lynn Johnson is Director of Nursing at Ridgewater College. She is responsible for both practical nursing and associate degree nursing programs on the Hutchinson and Willmar campuses. Lynn attained her Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Arizona and her Master’s in Science with a major in Nursing from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis campus. Lynn has had a variety of practice experiences including psych/mental health, adolescent chemical dependency, medical-surgical, and cardiac and medical intensive care. Lynn has been Director of Nursing at Ridgewater College for 34 years. Lynn has been active in efforts to provide access to BSN education in rural Minnesota. The Minnesota Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) has provided an amazing opportunity for nursing students that has never existed in this rural region of the state. Students are able to begin at Ridgewater College in a BSN curriculum and complete the BSN degree in Hutchinson and Willmar. View Guest page

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Mary Johnson


Mary Johnson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, CHTP is a Professor Emeritus from St. Olaf College where she taught in the nursing program for twenty-six years. She has taught imagery, reflexology, Healing Touch and relaxation techniques as well as the principles of Holistic Nursing in workshops for health care providers for many years. Following retirement from St. Olaf, she taught a course on energy healing in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota for several years. She has completed certification in Healing Touch And Advanced Practice in Holistic Nursing and is presently on the Board of Directors and a Healing Touch provider at Pathways, a healing center in Minneapolis. View Guest page

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Natalie Lu, BA, MSN, RN


Inspired by fellow nurses and our partners in healing, Natalie Lu, BA, MSN, RN, is the founder of The Reflective Nurse, a community forum and blog for reflection on practice. Natalie has worked in the health care industry since May of 2000. A registered nurse since 2008, she is passionate about her current work in quality and patient safety for a pediatric hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her nursing career has served her with opportunities in direct patient care and beyond the bedside to teach, to advise current and budding nurses in clinical and academic settings, and to volunteer her nursing skills locally and abroad. Natalie holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing/Health Care Education. The Reflective Nurse is propelled by gratitude for the work and ideas we share.
http://thereflectivenurse.com/ View Guest page

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Laura Peterson


Laura got her BSN from the University of Minnesota in 1987. She passed her Boards, and at about the same time learned that she and her husband were expecting their first child. Having heard horror stories about the stress of a first-year nurse, and knowing she wanted to be a full time mother, she choose not to enter the profession at that time. She went on to have a large family--eight beautiful children, and the thought of professional nursing hardly entered her mind for decades. When her youngest was about eleven, Laura began to wonder if there may be some path for her into the nursing profession as a mature human being, but a novice nurse. Her path eventually led to the Normandale Community College RN Refresher Course. View Guest page

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Ellie Peterson, Inspirer


Ellie Peterson, creator of the Meditative Movement™ technique, teaches individuals how to listen to their own mind and body so they can be a positive influence in the lives of the people they serve. Ellie graduated from the College of St. Catherine in 1992. She has taught thousands of people how to exercise their own personal power in a new way to achieve optimal health and well-being. The 2016 University of Minnesota Occupational Therapy Department feasibility research study concluded that Meditative Movements™ may be effective in reducing anxiety, depression, and fatigue, while improving emotional and functional well-being.
Ellie is an author and professional speaker. To learn more about her and see videos of the powerful Meditative Movements™, you can visit her website: ppworkouts.com and stay connected via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/PowerPositiveWorkouts/ View Guest page

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Lenore Rockler


Lenore Rockler has enjoyed a multi-faceted career in Human Resources Recruiter, Job Placement Specialist in Workers Compensation Industry and Career Counselor for Adults in work transition. Her most recent work has been as Interview coach and trainer for RN Refresher Course at Normandale Community College, Bloomington, Minnesota. View Guest page

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Nancy Sawyer


Nancy Sawyer has had a career in the nursing field since 1970. Her experience is broad and deep including triage, rehabilitation, surgical, adolescent center support/evaluation, high risk OB evaluation/education, & chemical dependency. In 1980 she participated in a focus on integration of nursing culture/support and teambuilding. Then she really got going by developing a mentor program for new graduate RN’s. A champion for the nursing profession, Sawyer’s involvement in all aspects of nursing, from bed side to management, has continued to grow, even beyond retirement in the summer of 2017. Sawyer sees the mentor connection as a developmental, empowering and nurturing relationship. Sawyer’s long-term involvement in high risk OB nursing made her aware of families with infant losses. She and her husband Tom, created the “Garden of the Sleeping Angels” nonprofit organization for families who have lost infants. It houses over 75 ceramic angels in the gardens to memorialize infants. View Guest page

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Lois Sonstegard


Lois graduated from St. Olaf College with a Bachelor’s of Nursing in 1965. She worked in perinatal nursing and gynecologic oncology for about 20 years. She taught graduate nursing and was the director for OB/Gyn during that time. She left nursing to take care of a sick child who needed a great deal of help and nurturing. While home caring for her child, Lois started a manufacturing company. She entered the RN Refresher Course because she wanted to return to health care. Lois found the course wonderful and a great opportunity to get her feet back in the water. She found many things had changed, while others remained very much the same. She finds great joy in taking care of patients and helping them to realize their own physical potential in and out of health. View Guest page

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Betsy Stites BSN, MA, RN


Betsy Stites BSN, MA, RN is the Founder of Imago Consulting, an executive and life coaching practice. Over the last 30 years Betsy has held multiple leadership positions within the health care industry re-inventing herself as a nurse educator, communications and media relations director, project consultant, organizational development system director and talent management system director.
Betsy holds a MA in Education and a BSN. Her passion is growing and nourishing others so they can embrace, develop and celebrate their own potential to make the world a better place for all. View Guest page

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Tim Thorpe


Tim Thorpe, the executive director of Pathways Health Crisis Resource Center in Minneapolis, a non-profit, volunteer-sustained organization that provides programs and an environment designed to provide complementary therapy services and programs for people with life-threatening illness. Along with staff of three, he oversees community relations and outreach, program & services development and funding sustainability. Thorpe’s career includes experience in for-profit business planning, marketing and advertising executive with strong strategic, media and communications planning background. Throughout his career, he has built strong non-profit expertise through experiences with various organizations focused on social services, arts, education, youth and elderly. View Guest page

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Dr. Katherine A. Todd, DNP, MBA, RN, PHN,


Katherine has a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from the University of Minnesota, specializing in Integrative Health and Healing as well as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree, specializing in Healthcare Management. As a George Fellow, Dr. Todd trained internationally with experts in the implementation of holistic healing practices into the current medical model in order to improve health, wellbeing, and the cost of care. Her doctoral thesis and research were focused on implementing interventions that positively impact and address care team stress, burnout and resilience. Katherine holds leadership certificates in: Management Practices, Team Leadership, Personal Leadership Development, and Public Health Nursing. View Guest page

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Faye Uppman


Faye Uppman is the Director of the MN Alliance for Nursing Education (MANE) Center for Nursing Excellence. MANE is an alliance dedicated to increasing baccalaureate prepared nurses in Minnesota. Ms. Uppman obtained her Master’s in Nursing from the University of MN, with a minor in educational psychology. With over 40 years in nursing practice, 30 of which have been dedicated to nursing education, she has worked to advance the nursing profession through innovation in education. She served on the state advisory committee supporting the development of a Minnesota Action Coalition centered on the IOM: Future of Nursing Report. She was the Project Director for the Minnesota Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) State Implementation Program 2 (SIP2) grant focused on Recommendation 4: Increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80% by 2020. In addition, she is a national consultant for nursing programs related to academic progression in nursing & curriculum design. View Guest page

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