13 Sep Finding passion with a purpose, one woman’s path into a dialysis nursing career

Nurse Spotlight: Kirin Proctor

Six years ago, Kirin Proctor’s life was in a state of change. Facing divorce, she began looking for a new career. At 48 years old, she didn’t just find a career, she found her passion: nursing.

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Kirin smiles with Tamika Taylor, hospital services dialysis technician, in Middle Tennessee.

Kirin enrolled in the Nursing Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree program at Nashville State Community College in 2010.  While attending school, she volunteered in the dialysis unit at her local VA hospital. Kirin truly enjoyed the one-on-one interactions she experienced with patients in the dialysis unit. It didn’t take her long to know for certain that dialysis nursing would become her specialty. She proudly graduated as part of Nashville State’s inaugural nursing class in 2012.

Upon graduation, Kirin applied for her first nursing position at Dialysis Clinic, Inc., (DCI) Med Center, a chronic outpatient dialysis facility in downtown Nashville. Kirin began using her nursing skills right away. The more she learned about dialysis patients, the greater her desire became to serve.

Kirin prepares the dialysis machine for her next patient.

Kirin prepares the dialysis machine for her next patient.

Nearly a year after working in the outpatient dialysis facility, Kirin decided to transition to the DCI regional hospital services team in Nashville.

 “I chose to apply to DCI’s regional hospital services team because I wanted to challenge myself even more,” said Kirin. “The patients entering a hospital are typically sicker and have greater needs than the patients going to the outpatient facility for routine dialysis. I knew that being in the hospital setting and interacting with a larger care team would require me to use even more of my nursing training and critical thinking.”

Today, Kirin covers five middle Tennessee hospitals, four days a week, for 10-hour shifts. She also covers  part of the on-call schedule.

“Some nurses are reluctant to join a hospital services team because of the ‘on-call’ aspect,” Kirin explained. “But for me, it is exciting. To receive a call and know that I am going to provide a potentially lifesaving treatment…I love to be that person, to provide that comfort.”

Kirin feels her role as a dialysis nurse in the hospital setting is part of her mission. She is supported by her team that motivates and encourages one another while caring for people with kidney disease and related conditions.

“There have been many times I have had to treat critical care patients and I’ve been the person to tell them or their family that it is going to be okay,” she shared. “That is why I do this job. That is why I am here.”