Member Spotlight – Susan K. Riesch

WNA Member Spotlight
WNA has so many incredible members making a lasting impression in nursing. We think it’s about time that everyone else knows about our incredible members, too. That is why we have a Member Spotlight series on our website. This is the space to showcase your talent. Tell us about your remarkable research, your touching stories, the obstacles you’ve overcome. Show us—and the world—what it really means to be a Wisconsin Nurse. Fill out your form to be spotlighted! WNA Member Spotlight Questionnaire

For our next member spotlight, we have Susan K. Riesch!

What is your name?

Susan K. Riesch PhD, RN, FAAN

What have been your roles at WNA / how long have you been a member?

I’ve been a member since 1998, and I served on the membership committee and research committee many years ago.

Where do you work?

I am retired.

What is (or was) your job title?

Public Health Nurse 1971-1976, Professor of Nursing 1976-2012

What do (or did) you do in your job?

I taught classes in children’s health, public health, prevention science, and nursing research; conducted funded research on parent-child communication and young adolescent health risk behavior prevention

Tell us a story from your job.

I became interested in young adolescent and parent communication because as a public health nurse parents told me how worried they were about their children moving into adolescence and that they may not have the skills to parent them. Meanwhile, kids at elementary and middle schools were telling us how difficult it was to bring subjects up to their parents. Thus we developed Mission Possible Parents and Kids who Listen to address this chasm. Two compelling stories were: (a) was an 11-year-old who was expelled from school for bringing a knife from home and (b) a 5th grader who threw himself in front a school bus after school. Both stories resulted in parents making changes in how they opened communication and approached family rules, roles, and relationships.

What do you do in your free time?

Now I hike, bike, play tennis, read, and spoil my grandchildren

What are you passionate about?

Families having the skills to deal with developmental challenges

Brag to us about something you’ve done in your career.

Serving on the National Institutes of Health study section to review research applications, working with colleagues to develop a Nursing Center at UW-Milwaukee that became in subsequent years a model for nurse-managed practice, serving as a teacher and mentor to over 30 undergraduate and graduate students of nursing, and serving as the only nurse on the Oversight and Advisory Committee for the Wisconsin Partnership Fund at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health

What does being a nurse mean to you?

It means caring for individuals, families, and communities along the lifespan (from pregnancy and birth through end of life care), calling upon research to prevent potential problems and treat actual problems, and advocating for policies and practices that enhance patient care and the human experience.

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