Ep 160: Remembering Helen Vos, The Mother of Continuing Education

Our historical series wouldn’t be complete without an episode dedicated to the life and accomplishments of former AANA president Helen P Vos. What better way to truly understand her impact on the profession than by talking with two of her former students who were later mentored by Ms. Vos. Let’s welcome back Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA to the show to tell us about this special person.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

Our historical series returns to spotlight another wonder person and former AANA president, Helen Vos.

We’re really excited about this conversation because Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, were students of hers and actually got mentored by Ms. Vos as well. That special relationship led to a lot of great stories during this episode and it helps us get a great understanding of the type of person, teacher, and nurse Ms. Vos was.

This former AANA president led a special life, even from the day she was born, and we’ll talk about why she should be considered the ‘mother of continuing education.’

So as you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • How she made medical history at birth
  • She was an incredible story-teller even at a young age
  • How she got in to medicine and how she became a CRNA
  • Her time spent in Pakistan training people
  • A great story about ice cream
  • What made her a great teach and leader
  • The impact she had on the AANA through service and work
  • Why she should be considered the ‘Mother of Continuing Education’
  • Remembering her celebration of life in 2007

We also wanted to mention that we’ve gotten so much great feedback about this historical series and we thank you for that. If you ever want to connect with Sandy or Nancy to ask them a question or request a subject for the podcast, you can email them at nbmaree@gmail.com and souellette515@gmail.com.

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

3:31 – Introducing today’s subject

4:37 – Early life

8:29 – A spirit for adventure

12:20 – Education

19:15 – Her work in anesthesia

25:00 – Career as a CRNA

28:26 – Story about how direct she could be

33:14 – Service to the AANA

38:29 – Mother of Continuing Education

43:52 – Her passing

50:06 – Final thoughts on Helen


“There as an article, that I still have a copy of, that was written in our hospital news bulletin. And it described her vividly, it said Ms. Vos is Dutch – direct, dedicated, and decisive. I can tell you as students, we did not want to cross HPV.”

– Sandy Ouellette, CRNA

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CRNA Careers

Ep 182: The Push for Full Practice Authority for VA CRNAs

More than 1,000 CRNAs work with the Veterans Health Administration and they can’t operate with full practice authority like their counterparts serving in every branch of the military. The Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists is working to change that despite significant pushback, and former president Diane Boettger, MHS, CRNA, joins the show to talk about her time on the board and the work the organization is doing to push CRNAs forward.

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Ep 181: The CRNA Coroner – Another Avenue to Serve

It’s been incredible to watch the number of CRNAs that have thrown their scrubs into the ring for political positions around the country. As the trend continues to grow, we want to spotlight another one of these incredibly talented and devoted nurse anesthetists that have been recently elected.

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Ep 180: Lobbying for CRNAs – How to Influence State Legislatures and Agencies

If you want an eye-opening perspective on lobbying and what it takes to influence lawmakers, this will be an episode you don’t want to miss. Bob Guyer of The Lobby School gives us a master class on how to be successful in convincing legislators to align with your goals, which is essential for CRNAs as we continue to fight to protect our industry and our paycheck.

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