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Shriners Children's Boston Nurse Reflects on Three-decade Career

Jeanne with burn patient

Jeanne MacDonald, RN, has been taking care of children at Shriners Children's Boston for over 30 years.

Jeanne MacDonald has been a registered nurse at Shriners Children’s Boston for more than 30 years. She started in the reconstructive unit, then transitioned to the outpatient clinic. When asked about her lengthy tenure at Shriners Children’s Boston, Jeanne explained that she has stayed with the organization so long “because there is no other job like it. I feel blessed by the career that I am having.”

As she reflects on that long career, Jeanne notes that she has never taken for granted the opportunities she has been afforded at Shriners Children’s Boston, in particular the chance to participate in outreach clinics and work with people from all over the world. “I think that broadens your perspective and opens your eyes. I have always believed you do not need to speak a language to understand people or to deliver the best possible care to them.”

Jeanne has so many memories from a career spanning over three decades and counting, but what stands out the most is the relationship that develops between a nurse and a patient family. “I believe there is no greater honor than being entrusted to take care of someone’s child. When you think about that responsibility – our patient families rely on us for comfort, information and a belief that things will get brighter. As nurses caring for children with burn injuries, we are with our patient families during one of the worst crises of their lives. To be part of that journey, to be a source of comfort and care, and to watch something wonderful and beautiful come out in the end, that is what being a nurse is all about,” Jeanne said.

“There is just no place like Shriners Children's. Our Boston hospital might be small, but our impact is large. People will come here for care and tell us they heard from firefighters, police officers and other first responders that this is where you want to be if you need specialized care. Shriners Children's is unique and special, and we see the mission carried out every day in each child we care for and every family we help,” Jeanne said.

Over the years, Jeanne has seen many advances in care, but the one that stands out the most is telehealth, which she describes as “transformative.” Jeanne said, “It really expanded our scope of care in a way that was not possible even 10 years ago. To think you can conduct a clinic visit with a child in another country through our telehealth platform – how amazing is that?”

As Jeanne reflects on our next century of care, she is looking forward to more advances in research and technology that will enhance the care that Shriners Children’s provides to so many children.

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