Donna Cardillo

Donna Cardillo, RN has been referred to as the ‘guru’ of career development for nurses. Donna is a professional keynote speaker, author, consultant, and coach. Her accomplished career combines over 20 years of clinical, managerial and business experience, not to mention her stint as a professional singer. Donna’s clinical experience includes emergency and psychiatric nursing.

Known as “Dear Donna”, she gives daily online career advice to nurses at and writes a monthly column for Nursing Spectrum and NurseWeek magazines, both part of the Gannett Healthcare Group. The two magazines combined, represent the largest circulation of any nursing magazine in the country. Donna was formerly known as the “Healthcare Careers Expert” at

NEWBecoming Fearless in Career and Life

If you’re a member of the human race, you’ve experienced more than one obstacle, setback, or otherwise dark time in your life. Perhaps you’ve had a major life event (illness, divorce, job loss, aging) that has left you feeling disoriented and afraid. Maybe your current circumstances don’t stimulate you and you are desperate for a change but don’t know what direction to move in. Possibly there’s something you really want to do but fear has you frozen in place. This uplifting program will teach you how to develop the energy and the courage to move beyond fear and leave you feeling inspired, empowered, and ready for action.

Participants will learn how to:

  • Move from fear to freedom
  • Create positive momentum in their life and work
  • Discover how to use current and past challenges as a springboard for future success
  • Triumph over self-doubt, disappointment and heartache
  • Live fully and authentically

NEWYou Can’t Change the Wind, But You Can Adjust Your Sails


Nurse Power!™: Harnessing the power, the passion, and the pride of nursing – This uplifting program is designed to remind nurses of their own greatness and empower them for future success. It’s guaranteed to make nurses feel good and proud about who they are, what they do, and how they contribute to healthcare. Get ready to be pumped up, turned on, and super-charged with Nurse Power!

Position Yourself for Success: How nurses can increase their impact and expand their sphere of influence – This empowering program explores all the things that nurses need to do to become vital players in a new healthcare market. It will provide participants with tools that will help them to develop confidence, poise, and energy to face the future. *This program can be adapted for teachers, librarians, and other professionals.

Going for the Brass Ring – How to Get the Most out of Life – Do you wish you could get yourself and your life out of the rut you feel you are in? Do you wish you felt more motivated? Would you like to be able to face each day with passion and purpose? Do you want to make things happen in your life? Would you like to live your life with gusto? This uplifting program will teach you simple techniques that will turn your life around.

Nursing – The Next Generation – This inspirational program faces the new century with an optimistic eye. It offers vision and hope for the future of nursing as it explores the trends, predications, and outlooks that will shape the healthcare delivery system in the years to come with an emphasis on opportunities for nurses.

Success is a Journey, Not a Destination – This powerful program will start you on a journey to discover your passion in nursing and in life. We often get stuck in a rut and don’t move forward because of self-doubt, imagined obstacles, or fear of change. This program will help to unlock hidden potential, help you pursue your dreams, and get your career on track for the future. You will uncover the secrets to finding your life’s work. The answers may just surprise you and be closer than you think.

Your First Year as a Nurse – You’ve worked hard, you’ve sacrificed, and you’ve dreamed of your future career. Now it’s time to get revved up for the “real world” of nursing. Get practical tips and advice for finding your first job, making a successful transition from student to professional nurse, and for thriving during your first year in nursing and beyond. *This program is ideal for student programs/events as well as new graduate orientation programs.

Full Biography

Donna Cardillo, RN, is The Inspiration Guru. She travels the world helping women and healthcare professionals to be happy in their lives and careers and to reach their full potential. She does that as a keynote speaker, columnist, author, and cut-up. Her accomplished career combines over 25 years of clinical, managerial and business experience, not to mention her stint as a professional singer. Donna’s clinical experience includes emergency and psychiatric nursing. Donna holds a diploma in nursing, a BS in Health Care Management and an MA in Corporate and Public Communication. Known as “Dear Donna”, she gives daily online career advice at Donna is also an Expert Blogger at She was formerly the “Healthcare Careers Expert” at

Donna CardilloDonna has twice been named Business Woman of the Year in New Jersey and has also received the coveted Athena Award, a national leadership award for women. Donna was designated a Diva in Nursing by the Institute for Nursing in NJ for outstanding achievements and excellence in practice. She has also been named one of 50 Best Women in Business by NJBIZ. Donna appears regularly on television and radio, is frequently quoted in newspapers and magazines and has published numerous articles. Donna has appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and the Today show and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times on several occasions.

Donna is author of the books, Your First Year as a Nurse – Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional, The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses – Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career, and A Day Book for Beginning Nurses.

Donna is a founding member and past president of the New Jersey chapters of both the National Speakers Association (NSA) and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Donna is a volunteer lecturer and facilitator for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. When she is at her home base in Sea Girt, NJ, she serves as a local spokesperson for family caregivers.

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