Ep 51: Ronald Caulk, CRNA – An Agent For Global Change

Ronald Caulk poured more than 50 years of his life into being a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and his impact on the profession can still be felt today. Among his lifetime of achievements was his determination to have CRNAs around the world recognized for the work they do. Today we’ll look back at his life and his legacy with Sandy Ouellette, CRNA.

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

On This Episode:

Many people have had a hand in growing the nurse anesthetist profession through the years, and we try to share those contributions and keep their memories alive on this podcast.

Today we turn our attention to Ronald Caulk, who was one of the first men in the profession and a CRNA for more than 50 years. As you can imagine, his impact reached far and wide but one of his greatest accomplishments was helping expand the profession globally.  

Few people knew him as well as Sandy Ouellette and she joined us again for this episode of the Beyond the Mask Podcast. She had a long relationship with him as they both shared a passion for the profession.

1:59 – Sandy Ouellette back in the studio with us today to discuss Ronald Caulk.

2:37 – Who was Ronald Caulk and what did he accomplish?

The early portion of Caulk’s career took place in Arizona, where he eventually became president of the Arizona Association of Nurse Anesthetists in 1968. He would advance to the national level and serve on many different committees before he was elected president of the AANA in 1977. Among his many accomplishments was establishing the Council on Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists, which led him to his wife.  

5:02 – Most of his level of service at the state level was with the Arizona Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

6:09 – He had many AANA contributions.

7:10 – The establishment of the Council on Recertification and how he ended up meeting his wife Susan Smith.

After leaving Arizona, Caulk moved to the Midwest and began taking a greater interest in the profession worldwide. He represented the AANA at the first International Symposium of Nurse Anesthetists in Switzerland in 1985, which led him to focusing much of his time on starting the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists. Sandy also played a key role in creating the IFNA and that’s where they began working closely together.

10:13 – How did Sandy and Ron get involved together?

10:42 – They began working very closely when the idea of the IFNA began.

12:40 – How the IFNA formed.

15:22 – One of Ronald Caulk’s most memorable experiences happened on a trip to Ghana.

As you can tell, Caulk had a lot to contribute to our profession and left a lasting impact with his passing in 2016. We asked Sandy to give us more insight into his legacy and lasting impact.

17:47 – Tell us about his contributions to the AANA and IFNA.

21:18 – Sandy tells a story about a time they visited North Carolina and Sandy’s jeep got stuck on the beach.

26:02 – How will Ron be remembered?

Thanks for checking out another episode of Beyond the Mask. Please subscribe and join us next week for another show.

“His heart really was in the formation of this organization and making sure that nurse anesthetists were recognized for the role they play in the countries in which they work.”

-Sandy Ouellette, former AANA President





Current Events

Ep 225: An Inside Look at Lobbying for Your State Association

During our visit to the NCANA meeting last fall, we had the opportunity to host a live podcast about lobbying for your state association and we had the pleasure of bringing NCANA lobbyists Patrick Ballantine and Tracy Kimbrell onto the panel with us. Both of them have been tremendous assets to our association because of their passion for lobbying. We explored that role to find out what skills it takes, how to utilize a lobbyist, and what you should expect from them.


Ep 224: ASA 2022 Difficult Airway Algorithm Update

The American Society of Anesthetists initially released the Difficult Airway Algorithm in 1993 to provide a guide for managing a patient with a difficult airway. It has been updated every 10 years since with the fourth iteration being released in January 2022.
The latest update has a number of key changes that Jeremy and Sass will take you through in this episode of the podcast.

CRNA Careers

Ep 223: Starting Your Own Aesthetic Injectables Practice

Now Suzanne Jagger is helping other CRNAs and NPs learn how to follow her path to start their own aesthetic injectables practice, and she’ll share that experience on this episode. If you’ve ever considered aesthetics or were curious to learn more, we’ll share an inside look at what it takes to be successful along with the challenges of running a practice.




Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyStitcherTuneIniHeartRadio



J. Cross CRNA
Read More
This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
Read More
I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
Read More
I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
Read More
I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
Read More
If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.