ANNA Member Spotlight

Welcome to ANNA's monthly member spotlight. ANNA is a vibrant organization because of nurses like you! Your diverse experiences and unique perspectives make us a collective whole that is a masterpiece. We are proud of all the work each of you do.

If you would like to be featured, try using our online community, ANNA Connected. Members are featured in the Member Spotlight based on their engagement in ANNA Connected, so start connecting, talking, and getting to know other ANNA members via ANNA Connected.

Todd Varner, BSN, RN

Dialysis RN
Pinnacle Health
Harrisburg, PA
Susquehanna Valley Chapter #130

How long have you been in nursing?

I’ve been an RN for 14 years. I wanted to be a military aviator. I have a private pilot license but gave up that pursuit as I learned more about myself. I graduated Geneva College with a BS degree in biology and an associate's degree in professional piloting (1997). While searching for medical jobs, I worked as a forklift operator in a cabinet factory. Three years later, in 2000, I landed an outpatient dialysis job as a PCT and used it to launch a nursing career. I earned an associate's degree in nursing from Harrisburg Area Community College in 2004 and a BSN from Liberty University in 2017. I switched to hospital dialysis in 2013, learned peritoneal dialysis and plasmapheresis, and took a dialysis clinical manager position.

How long have you been in nephrology?

Nephrology has been the totality of my 14+ years in nursing. I have no aspirations to do anything else.

Why do you love nephrology?  

I love the clients, understand them, and enjoy helping them live/share life. Helping nephrology nurses grow is a privilege. Nephrology is a challenge of blood chemistry, fluid and electrolytes, anemia management, and endocrinology. It requires solid psychology and interpersonal skills.

What is your favorite ANNA member benefit?

ANNA is invaluable to nephrology nurses. I learned much of what I know from ANNA-sponsored educational conferences, books, and articles. Many of the nurses I met at conferences have become contacts on some level. The discussion groups in ANNA Connected are a great medium for learning from each other and sharing experience. Through ANNA, I feel supported as a nurse in a sea of medical and nursing professionals who know little about dialysis. ANNA is the place to learn.

What are your favorite hobbies outside of nursing?

I enjoy a rural life: hunting, fishing, camping, and backpacking. I am an avid handgun target shooter. I enjoy history: ancient Greek, Roman, Biblical, Dark Ages in Europe, and World Wars I and II. Occasionally, I perform singing and acting roles locally.