Esmeralda Lundy, MS-RN, AGPCNP-BC, CNN
I have been a registered nurse for 11 years and a nurse practitioner (NP) for the past 3 years.
I started my nursing career in 2009 with an associate’s degree, working in long-term care and rehabilitation facilities. While I was eager to use my nursing skills to care for sick and vulnerable institutionalized patients, I also went back to school for my bachelor’s degree so I would be well prepared for leadership positions in the near future.
After 4 years serving the geriatric population, I decided to advance my nursing education by enrolling in an adult-geriatric primary care NP program.
In 2014, as I started my first year as an NP student, I also stumbled into nephrology. I began my nephrology career in outpatient dialysis settings. I spent 4 years working as a hemodialysis nurse, fulfilling duties of regular to charge nurse until I moved into inpatient dialysis at a magnet hospital that encouraged nursing certification. In addition, I was lucky to find a nephrologist mentor who guided me to the right paths to help me succeed in the renal field. I became a member of the American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) as well as the National Kidney Foundation (NKF).
In 2017, I graduated from an NP school and had the privilege to work for the same nephrologist who was mentoring me. I have developed a passion for nephrology as a career specialty, and I also made a commitment to the renal disease population to be a caring provider for those experiencing kidney disease.
Not too long after starting work as a renal NP, I earned my certification in nephrology nursing. I became more involved and vested in the nephrology specialty by attending local and national conferences, as well as sharing and exchanging ideas via renal forums.
As a renal provider, I cherish every single relationship that I develop and am able to maintain with my patients. I’m very dedicated to educate, counsel, and care for my patients to help them attain their optimal quality of life. That said, I believe by joining some of the well-known advocacy organizations (i.e. ANNA and NKF) and also by obtaining my certification through NNCC, I have further proven my devotion to helping my renal patients.
Being a certified nephrology nurse (CNN) has brought me respect from fellow nurses and other health care providers in the renal field. In addition, my certification has opened many doors leading to some advanced career opportunities and boosting my confidence into leadership. However, the most satisfying gain is the continuing education required to maintain my certification: It keeps me updated on new guidelines, policies, and protocols for safe practice.
Now, with 2 years practicing as a nephrology NP under my belt, I’m well qualified to sit down for the CNN-NP exam. I’ve been studying, attending meetings (local and national), networking, and working long hours to sharpen my skills.
I love the nursing profession and love being a nephrology nurse practitioner even more. I hope to continue providing the best care to kidney disease patients, working alongside with nephrologists, dialysis nurses and technicians, renal dietitians and social workers, and mentoring new nurses in the nephrology specialty.
On that note, I will conclude with one of Oprah Winfrey’s best-known quotes that I live by: “Your true passion should feel like breathing; it’s that natural.”