Suzanne mcdonnell

My Testimony of Becoming a Faith-driven Nurse

Suzanne E. McDonnell, RN, BSN, MSN

I have three words that describe what I feel about my ENTIRE life: I AM BLESSED. For knowing that I was born for a purpose; a seed planted and preached by my parents and siblings AND in learning from my experiences of self-destruction and being on the brink of homelessness due to self-affliction, I surrendered my life to Jesus Immediately, He took the wheel and guided me to and through Nursing School.

Opening my heart, with the guidance of my professors, I began a spiritually-driven journey through my Nursing career.

While I was at D’Youville College, I found my passion to care for the terminally ill while volunteering for Hospice Buffalo at Buffalo General Hospital in their Palliative Care Unit. The volunteer bug bit me! Little did I realize that I was going down the same path as my Father, a Physician, and Mother, a nurse, set as avid volunteers while they practiced. I started working full-time as a BSN degreed nurse in the Cardiac ICU and due to the guidance of God, my journey led me to become a Hospice nurse.

During that time, in 2009, I had the opportunity to be part of a national medical coalition of Hospice MDs, RNs and Social workers, to South Africa to teach them about Palliative and EOL care for AIDS patients. My mission work continued through my church. A doctor, pharmacist, and another nurse went to Kamina, Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2010, to work at a medical clinic, providing medical supplies to the clinic and nursing school, and taught at the nursing school for two weeks.

While I was studying for my Masters degree, I volunteered at Cornerstone Manor in the clinic where Dr. Holmes had medical students! I also volunteered at Good Neighbors Clinic and in the Disaster Relief Division of the American Red Cross. My desire to blend my faith and career was strong!!!! I joined the Faith Community Nursing and sought out nursing positions that would allow me to express my faith in practice. Hospice Buffalo, Catholic Health and Greenfield Health and Rehab Center allowed and encouraged me in the various roles that I had held.

Currently, I teach at Trocaire College as a Full-time professor and I do integrate faith in my curriculum. I continue to volunteer at Cornerstone Manor and at Life Church Buffalo. I have always been driven to integrate my faith in my nursing practice and I desire, with Deb, to support other nurses and nursing students to do the same in their practice.

Suzanne’s volunteer history:

American Red Cross, Good Neighbors Free Health Clinic, Cornerstone Manor, Volunteer RN/ Educator Hospice Buffalo, International missions. CMDA, Nursing Advocate Volunteer