Donna Beattie is an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) with VNA Hospice. She has “officially” been a hospice nurse for 4 years, but realizes that this has been her calling all of her life.
Out of high school Donna joined the United States Air Force, then became a dental assistance working at a boys’ prison, from there she was the compliance specialist for Capistrano Valley Christian School: when she lost her job at the school due to budget cuts, Donna chose to go back to school and become a nurse. She chose to become an LVN because she knew her passion was to work directly with the patients. Her first job as a nurse was with Silverado Senior Living, where she quickly found that she was comfortable with her patients who were dying. Her supervisors and co-workers told Donna, she should consider a job in hospice, but it was a broken foot that led her to that field.
Donna throws “her all” into everything she does. Her children even tease her, “Mom, do you read anything besides books on death and dying?” Her co-workers at VAN call her “Donna who does death visits” because she truly loves being with her patients and their families during their final moments and helping them transition from this world to the next. Donna loves education and teaching and is always amazed by what her hospice patients teach her. She states, “My patients teach me about compassion, patience, and the circle of life.”
Friends call Donna an eternal optimist. She loves to read, play scrabble, tell a good joke or two, and travel, but one of her biggest passions is her street rod, a 1933 Ford, that she restored herself. Donna lives in Dana Point with her husband and son; she also has two daughters, a grandchild and one grandchild on the way. Donna says “I know people say that you can’t identify yourself solely by what you do for a living but…I am a hospice nurse.”