Nephrology Nursing, the Veterans Administration, and COVID-19 | The Nurse Keith Show, EPS 272

On episode 272 of The Nurse Keith Show nursing career podcast, Keith interviews Lillian Pryor, MSN, RN, CNN, a nephrology nurse at the Atlanta Veterans Administration and the President of the American Nephrology Nurses Association. Discussion topics include the VA’s response to COVID-19, the amazing nursing specialty of nephrology nursing, as well as how it figures in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Lillian A. Pryor has practiced as a Nephrology Nurse for over 29 years. Throughout her career, she has served several roles, and is currently serving as Renal Clinic Nurse at the Atlanta VA Medical Center. Her responsibilities include screening pre-ESRD patients/veterans and providing education for patients with CKD. Lillian is a published author and has contributed articles to the Nephrology Nursing Journal and chapters in both the Core Curriculum and Contemporary Nephrology Nursing most recent editions. She currently serves on the ANNA Board of Directors as President.

Highlights from this conversation: 

  • 25% of cardiac output supports the kidneys
  • Every drop of blood is filtered by the kidneys in order to remove waste products and keep the body in homeostasis
  • There are 1 million nephron units in each kidney
  • Glucose and elevated BP can very deleteriously impact the nephron units, potentially destroying many of them in the process
  • American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA)
  • ANNA COVID-19 page
  • Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has 5 stages
  • Symptoms become very significant when 70% of the nephrons have been destroyed
  • End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is defined as 15% renal function
  • ESRD symptoms: anemia; shortness of breath; edema; fluid and toxin accumulation.
  • Peritoneal dialysis can be done at home, and some patients are being switched over (especially thanks to an executive order signed in July of 2019 to advance kidney disease treatment and education, including transplants)
  • Hemodialysis can actually be done as a home therapy now

Connect with Lillian Pryor: 


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Nurse KeithIn case you didn’t already know, Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, award-winning nurse blogger, writer, podcaster, keynote and motivational speaker, and popular career columnist. With two decades of nursing experience, Keith deeply understands the issues faced by 21st-century nurses. From 2012 until its sunset in 2017, Keith co-hosted RNFMRadio, a groundbreaking nursing podcast. Keith’s message of savvy career management and professional satisfaction reaches tens of thousands of nurses worldwide. Keith can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram—as well as at

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