The national jobs outlook for registered nurses is expected to grow faster than any other occupation. And the top paying metropolitan area for this profession is San Francisco, with an average hourly pay of more than $60 an hour. To meet the demands of a growing health care industry, more and more nurses are needed in the San Francisco Bay Area.

(Photo Courtesy of Joanna Lee Neumann, RN)

(Photo Courtesy of Joanna Lee Neumann, RN)

Nursing, however, should not be looked at as just a job. That is part of the expert advice given by Joanna Lee Neumann, RN, Certified Nephrology Nurse and Special Assignment Clinical Manager for Satellite Healthcare.

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What is your background and education?

“I received my nursing training in Hong Kong and graduated from a three-year hospital-based program; and prior to moving to the U.S, I obtained my California nursing license. I was fortunate to have trained in nephrology and had three years of experience in this field when I started working for Satellite Healthcare. My manager at the time, Sheila Doss, encouraged me to study for the Certified Nephrology Nursing examination and I have been CNN certified since 1995.”

What do you like most about your work as a nurse?

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“Along with the responsibilities, I am given a great deal of autonomy. I have worked as a home training nurse for many years. In this role I am responsible for much of my patient’s care. I need to give them the knowledge necessary to perform their own dialysis. I teach them to better care for themselves and I continuously follow them to assure they are on track. I can be a motivator, leading them to embrace their health. It is rewarding to see the patients take control and do well.”

What career advice can you give to those entering the field?

“We cannot look at nursing as just a job. Being a good nurse takes heart. Our patients can feel it if we approach them with love, respect and care. They count on our care to get better. We ought to treat each of them as if we are taking care of our loved ones. No matter if the loved one is your parent, spouse, child, pet or even yourself. Take time to know the patient as an individual. Enjoy and celebrate the recovery of your patient, but be compassionate and know when to let go when the time comes.”

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on