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30250157-F31C-4F4F-B929-D130DDC8D729Last week I attended my coworkers BEAUTIFUL 40 year Retirement Celebration ….

Today I CELEBRATE my 31st year Caring for Critically Ill Children

I am so grateful for all the people and patients I have met along this journey……..#blessednocnurse






Its pretty SAFE to SAY that I ♥️ BEING a NURSE……

Today marks my 30th year and while the work is hard and the challenges many, I am VERY blessed to have found my path… (THANK U ALWAYS to my Dad who was my driving force & believed in me)!

I picked a fire pit as my Recognition gift from UCSF and as I smoke out my neighbors:), I watch the flames (yes I take the cover off) and think of all the lives I have touched and have deeply touched mine …..🔥🔥🔥IMG_0562


Today I am grateful and full of joy to finish out the next 4 years at UCSF to retire & focus on the right side of my brain in a business venture …..







If you see ME on the road……say HI………




Call it a job hazard…..

I just know that even after almost 29 years as a PICU nurse, I still feel so much for those in my care…… Especially when it hits home.

Last night, I helped to admit a previously healthy 10 month old boy who had been throwing up for no reason. His mother was so distraught, all alone with her husband at home with her two other children. I helped settle her in the PICU, brought her some water and juice and tried to calm her fears.

Her son was quite ill, taken quickly to CT Scan that showed some damage to his bowel and he was soon being rushed to surgery.

Now this is where the close to home part comes in……..

The mother kept asking my coworker and I “He’s gonna be ok right? You guys have seen this before and they are fine after right?”

My heart got so heavy…. Luckily my coworker was more composed and provided her with the best answer he could.


When my middle son was 18 DAYS old, he started throwing up bile…

We rushed him to the doctor and were quickly told he could have a serious bowel obstruction. We were sent to Kaiser SF where an incarcerated umbilical hernia was diagnosed and he was taken to surgery that was performed by a world renowned pediatric surgeon I knew from UCSF who just happened to be covering that Saturday!

All went well…he’s now 18 YEARS old, BUT I remember THAT day like it was yesterday and the memories are strong …..

So how did it all go last night?

The patient did well and I did what any night nurse would do…showed the Mom lots of TLC and made sure she got all the information and support she needed…


I came home this am and cried…..


They took a CHANCE on me…. I took a CHANCE on THEM…….

A HUGE Leap of FAITHa494e804c358d2ec5af85d183f52e172Could I possibly go from preschool teacher who loved healthy children to caring for Critically Ill Children who Scared me to Death?

Yes! I could

Yes I did

28 years later……I’m still there

126874914472558233_9qRmiiGP_bMy HEART is SOOOOO Full today as I think back to the beginning……


5492852bfd148f7dd425bbda7420a3cbDonna Summer may have sung the song, but I feel like I LIVED the song

Hard couple of weeks……Dealing with VERY sick patients who pulled…… tugged……. YANKED at my heart…….

One young man was so sick we had to institute the “Massive Transfusion Protocol”which meant pushing blood so fast to save his life…….

Coolers filled with blood products 


THAT patient WALKED out of the PICU a week later

My greatest gift that night besides “working hard for the $$$$” was allowing the parents 2.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep in the room while their son was in surgery to find the bleeding.

I felt so much gratitude from his family for the gift of sleep…..”works hard for the $$$$$ pays off!!!”

My next pt was an 11-year-old  girl who was very sick, but stable enough to remind me of my OWN 12-year-old son…..she baked like him…….she was kind like him….

I cried in my car on the way home……


The morning after I worked with her she asked me “Who will be my day nurse?”

I told her someone very nice as she was such a nice patient.

She said “Well  THAT is YOU right?”

Be still my “knows too much PICU nurse heart…..”

One week later, she is now on the liver transplant list fighting hard for her life……

The parking garage heard many tears in the last 2 weeks……..BUT

PICU nurses also KNOW how to have FUN...

IMG_2475Enter our Holiday Party.. ……Great Gatsby style………I MAY have worn THESE…….

IMG_2434With THIS my new favorite BLACK dress….

mePhoto credit Andrew Lobre who takes pics so fast I didn’t even smile……. LOVE HIM 🙂


Ok, classic book….classic cover, but can she go from 0-60mph in 10 seconds flat?

That is what my coworkers can do

We save children’s lives quite literally………c957ed02aa14e8f57f4673475aa2b7cf

It happened twice last week……Nurses making the right call, fighting for their patients.

We are at the bedside 12 hours…..we watch…….we hover…….we intervene……..

we call doctors until they stay by our side.

We are cool like that….


I SALUTE on this NURSES WEEK my hardworking coworkers and

ALL nurses who have the passion and purpose to be the BEST patient advocate….


I KNOW our job is not easy…..there are some real challenging days, but at the end of the shift it’s all worth our energy.

If I could ONLY make these treats for everyone one of my nurse friends…I would……..


This month UCSF will honor me for 25 years of service (it’s actually 26 in July) but I’ll take it.

It has been the BEST 26 years and I am so honored everyday to be a NURSE!!!!



In my almost 26 years in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit I have seen many, many miracles.

That is why I stay. 

People often ask me” Isn’t it hard to work with sick or dying children?”

My answer is always yes, but then I have a patient like my one the other night and I am recommitted to my life’s calling.

She was 10.

She has cancer.

She has a very poor prognosis.

She had 1000 cranes hanging from the ceiling of her room.

They were breathtaking.  I stood in awe for a few minutes.

I have had other patients who have had the cranes draped around their room.

This collection was FANTASTIC…….the colors….. the way the light hit them.

I was speechless.

She and her Dad let me take a picture as long as they weren’t in it they said 🙂

Her Dad inspired me with his devotion to his daughter.

He showed me a book about the cranes and told me the group who makes them gets to make a WISH.

Her piano class made the cranes.

There is a website


I am recommitted to my profession every time I walk through the doors of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

This post is dedicated to my 14-year-old son WHOSE birth lead me to work straight nights for the last 14 years.

Before that story…….lets give THANKS ……giving.….. that is.

Nics birthday always falls on or right after Thanksgiving.  











We decided this year to go to the race track for Thanksgiving to mix things up a bit.


The buffet was nice, the views fabulous and the betting well……I won $3.00, but the boys learned a new type of math.

My brother took them under his wing to teach them.

Who needs fractions when you can have odds???














For Nic’s actual birthday we took a trip to Holiday in the Park at Six Flags. A few of his friends came.

I LIKED the dolphins..One came and said HI to me











The boys rode all the rides            

I studied the Nurse Shark and said HI to the penguins

Nic as a second child…….. Awake at night…….Put him in the bassinet……EYES WIDE OPEN………..

Head pops up


NIck at NITE we called him……

Nic barely awake this morning. He is STILL a night owl.










I decided to work nights when Nic was born, so I could spend more time with the boys and be around during the day if they needed me. 

I ALWAYS sleep with my cell phone under my pillow………STILL!!!!!

I remember once when Andrew was in preschool and I was working day shift…..

he bit some kid and the daycare provider called me at work to pick up the biter………

I was in the middle of caring for a critically ill child , so that was not the best option at the time……….

At least working nights, I am around during the day …… a coma perhaps…….

but awake if I get a call from college that Andrew is biting again……you never know……….could be a girl this time……..

Pinterest STRIKES again!!!

I sat in a room of 135 nurses yesterday to talk about Communication and Change.

These were 135 POWERFUL nurses.

Talented, hard-working professionals who met at Mission Bay to talk about a journey.

My hospital is looking to obtain Magnet status in the next year and all in the room are vital to the process.

There were excellent speakers, excellent books highlighting the work of the nurses and a sunny day.


I was HONORED to be among the best of the best.

We talked….we shared…..we learned about change.

One of my favorite lines from a speaker was….

“People need to know they will SURVIVE

before they will THRIVE”

Surrounded by STARS!!!!

Speaking of powerful nurses……..a BIG hug to my best friend JZ who introduced me to her favorite walking spot….

We walked………..we talked…….we were inspired by the beauty around us


how to NEVER take one day in this life for granted

love U JZ xoxoxoxoox

I sent an email the other day to Pinterest asking them how I could get some shirts for Ryan and I to rock as we are Pinterest addicts.

The reply came with a “hey, YES let me send you some” which was COOL……….


also the last line in the reply email read……

Hey Shauna, THANK YOU for being a NURSE!!

I was happy about the shirts, but even Happier about the recognition.

We all know nurses work hard……

BUT it is nice to hear a THANK YOU from someone OUTSIDE of nursing..

I had a rare opportunity the other night to spend 2 hours with a 20-year-old patient who was quite ill.

He needed to be transferred to the PICU for more monitoring, but there were delays in getting his room ready.

So we talked…….

Good old fashioned “tell me all about you talking”……

He asked me my philosophy of life, was I religious, what do I like about being a nurse????

Despite his knowledge that he himself was becoming much sicker, he wanted to spend his time talking with me.

We connected……….

THAT IS WHY I LOVE what I do!!!

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