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Jesse McDonald Honored as Notable Nurse


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When 25-year Moreno Valley resident Jesse McDonald comes into the Riverside County Regional Medical Center (RCRMC) for work each day, he’s never sure exactly what he’s going to get, but he does know one thing absolutely: he’s making a difference. His differences are what earned him the recent distinction as a Notable Nurse by California State Senator Bill Emmerson (R-Redlands) and California Assemblymember Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga). Before he became a nurse, McDonald—who has spent 41 total years in the profession, 16 as an LVN (licensed vocational nurse) and 25 years as an RN (registered nurse)—worked as a broadcast engineer and also as a businessman. It was when he was in the Navy that he received his first nursing license, and he continued working as a nurse while he pursued these other careers. “One day I realized that what I really wanted to do was nursing. It was the one field where I utilized all of my science, engineering and business interests while supporting and helping people going through serious crisis or illness,” said McDonald, 64. Throughout his career, he has worked in the areas of critical care/emergency nursing, surgery, general nursing, and clinics. He currently works as a nurse educator at the hospital, working in the Education Services department and, occasionally, the Emergency department, where he faces daily challenges. “It is challenging to constantly provide high levels of technical skill, multidisciplinary teamwork and emotional compassion in today’s healthcare system,” he said. “My role is to support those who are doing this work.” He said he finds many aspects of his job rewarding. “It the early years, it was being part of a team that saved lives and reduced suffering,” he said. “Now it’s in watching the growth and development of younger nurses. I’m touching more lives now.” In such a fast-paced career, McDonald’s day-to-day life at the hospital varies greatly, he noted. “Some shifts, I do individual training. Other days I do primarily group or class presentations. Other shifts may be spent reviewing research studies or other medical literature and developing classes. In addition, I develop and manage the online learning system and provide user support, as well as provide technical support for other educators or departments.” McDonald is Board certified in Critical Care nursing by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and, in previous years, he was also named a Notable Nurse. “I was surprised and pleased to be recognized, because it provides an opportunity to show what a wonderful career nursing can be. I would like to strongly encourage anyone looking for a meaningful career with strong growth potential to consider nursing,” he said. McDonald lives in Moreno Valley with his wife Kathy. The couple has five grown children and 11 grandchildren. In the past, his sons Andrew and Jason have worked for RCRMC and his wife Kathy and daughter Amy currently work at the hospital, as well. In his spare time, he said he enjoys the fields of aviation, music, amateur radio and “grandpa stuff.” McDonald was recognized among many other Inland Empire area nurses as well as additional RCRMC nurses, including his colleagues Laarni Colada, Adilu Flores, Andrea Harvey, Susan Kane, Kathi Randall and Kristen Rodriguez.

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