Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Nursing on the spectrum: What nurses with autism want you to know

"My name is Jackie Anne.  I am in my early 30s and am a nurse I may have even been your nurse.  Unknown to you, and many I work side by side with daily, I also have autism."

                                                                                 Jackie Anne Blair, RN

“I have an excellent memory. My hearing is very sensitive in a way that I can hear things that others can’t. I’m often the first to hear alarms. I can differentiate sounds quickly and more easily. My sensitivity to touch helps with palpation during a nurse exam. I can feel if something is different or off. I perseverate about my patient’s issues. If something is off, or I just can’t pinpoint a certain diagnosis or issues, I do everything I can to figure it out."

"I am also hyper-aware of cross-contamination, and am a bit obsessive with handwashing. I don’t judge patient’s based on a diagnosis. As your nurse, I understand that you are so very much more than the list of diseases, disabilities and symptoms in your chart.”

                                                                                      Anita Lesko, RN, CRNA

Anita Lesko, RN, CRNA is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist specializing in anesthesia for neurosurgery, organ transplants and orthopedic joint replacement. She states: "My gift of Asperger disorder gives me the ability to have what I call my ‘laser focus.’ It’s the ability to stay focused on a project for extreme periods of time with total focus and concentration".

In 2018, Anita advocated for autism acceptance to the United Nations. She has also published books and spoken at conferences with Temple Grandin.


Advocating Autism Acceptance to the United Nations, with Anita Lesko | EDB 123 (

Brandon is an RN with a masters degree, soon to be a Nurse practitioner in Texas. On his "Thriving with ASD" channel, he shares his journey to diagnosis and his coping skills for living with autism.

                                           Registered Nurse With Autism Spectrum Disorder - YouTube

                                           How I got diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder - YouTube

Sherri Schultz, pen name Pensive Aspie is "an Aspie, a wife, a mom, an aunt, a nurse, a Christian, a supporter of equality, a bibliophile, and a fan but not a fanatic of most things sci-fi and logical. My passion is Asperger's and helping others on the spectrum. I run a small online support group for individuals with ASD. I have found that the more knowledge I share, the more I receive."
About | Pensive Aspie (

Another Aspie Nurse writes:

 "I have emotional intelligence, and am fully capable of empathy, and can socialize with purpose.......I have learned to use words to find out what I cannot discern otherwise. I have learned to recognize most people’s signs of illness, pain, sadness, anger, through decades of being a CNA, and have learned to use humor in small scripted ways to make day to day nursing smoother… Such as “oops! Let me clean my hands before helping you with that…don’t want to give you a gift that keeps on giving!” just small comments here and there that usually will elicit a smile from my patients."

Lee is a nursing student in the UK

He has a number of videos on YouTube including: Asperger's and Nursing: A personal and professional view on being a student nurse

Anna has Asperger’s syndrome.

She works in the operating room as a nurse anesthetist.

Color a nurse with Asperger's in the, "I am a nurse: Color me Exceptional!" coloring book. I am a nurse: Color me Exceptional!: Maheady APRN, Donna Carol, Nuenke, Sue, Gili, Tom: 9781075196065: Books



Thursday, December 31, 2020

Top 5 Exceptional Nurse blog posts about nurses with disabilities in 2020!

 Let's take a look back on 2020!  Here are the top 5 Exceptional Nurse blog posts about nurses with disabilities. 

Bethany J. Baker, BSN, RNlikely first Deaf nurse in Florida, graduates!

                                                                                Bethany Baker, BSN,RN

BYU professors design Bluetooth stethoscope to keep health care practitioners safe amid COVID-19 -- Also helped nursing student who wears hearing aids!

Andrea Dalzell, RN... A nurse who uses a wheelchair receives one million dollar surprise!
                                                                               Andrea Dalzell,BSN, RN 

NightWare app may help nurses with PTSD

Help for Indiana nurses stuck on suspension due to Covid-19
                                                                                   Lorie Brown, RN, JD

Cheers and Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Bethany J. Baker, BSN, RN, likely first Deaf nurse in Florida, graduates!


"AHHHHH I AM TRUBIZ A NURSE!!!!!! I am more than likely the very FIRST Deaf nurse in Florida! They said it cannot be done; it was DONE! Like VP Harris said, I may be the first but I won’t be the last! I officially graduated from my nursing program tonight and here’s to my future as a nurse."

Bethany Baker graduated from the School of Nursing at the University of North Florida. On Facebook, she announced the news and repeated the Florence Nightingale Pledge in American Sign Language (ASL) .

"Hello everyone!

I will grab this time to state the Florence Nightingale Pledge for nursing: I do solemnly pledge myself, to practice my profession faithfully, do all in my power to elevate the standards of my profession, and to dedicate myself to the welfare of those committed to my care. Thank you for all of your support and belief in me as I went through the nursing program. Now, you are looking at Bethany J. Baker, BSN, RN. I love you all!"

So proud of you Bebe!!!



Friday, November 27, 2020

NightWare app may help nurses with PTSD


The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new smartphone app that can detect and interrupt nightmares in adults with PTSD.

The NightWare app, runs on the Apple Watch and Apple iPhone and adapts to the individual.

During sleep, Apple Watch sensors monitor heart rate and body movement. These data are then used to create a unique sleep profile using a proprietary algorithm.

Using a gyroscope and accelerometer, similar to fitness watches, the NightWare app detects that a patient is experiencing a nightmare based on changes in heart rate and movement. It provides slight vibrations through the Apple Watch to arouse the patient and interrupt the nightmare, without fully awakening the patient.

The NightWare app is available by prescription only and is intended for use in adults aged 22 years and older with PTSD.

Interested? Read more at: and at




Wednesday, November 18, 2020

For Prematurity Awareness Month, we celebrate nurses who were born as premies!


                                                              Light it up Purple!

Throughout Prematurity Awareness Month, March of Dimes shines a light on the global crisis of prematurity by raising awareness and asking for lifesaving donations.

Brittany Boolos, RN was born prematurely at 27 weeks weighing 2 pounds 7 ounces. She spent several months in a NICU. She is now working in the NICU at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Stacey Hamilton RN was born at 31 weeks. Her mother had placenta previa. Stacey spent 7 weeks in NICU. She now works as a senior staff neonatal nurse at Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, Scotland.

Ashley Moore, RN was born weighing one pound eleven ounces. She stayed in NICU for two months. She now works as a pediatric nurse at Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC.

Elizabeth Wertz, RN was born at 26 weeks. She spent two months in NICU. Her twin sister passed away at two days old. She worked at Indiana University Health North in the NICU and later became a clinical educator. Elizabeth is in graduate school studying to become a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

For more information about prematurity, or to help or make a donation, visit the web site of the March of Dimes