The Earliest Nurse Anesthesia Pioneers

In this episode, we’re joined by guests Stacy Yancey, MSNA, CRNA and Megan Conner, PhD, CRNA to pay homage to formidable women like Sophie Winton and Gertrude Gerrard, whose remarkable bravery and dedication earned them medals and a place in history.


The Legacy of Florence McQuillen, the AANA’s First Executive Director

Our historical series continues today with a detailed look back on the life and career of Florence ‘Mack’ McQuillen, the first executive director of the AANA and someone who held the position for nearly a quarter century. We’re excited to have Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA to tell us about how she helped shape the association and why she was considered by some to be a ‘benevolent dictator.


Early Anesthesia: Dagmar Nelson and Nurse Anesthesia After the Trial (Part 2)

In part two, we’ll go on an exploration to uncover the untold chapters of Dagmar’s post trial years and witness how her victory reshaped the landscape of nurse anesthesia, breaking down barriers and paving the way for countless nurse anesthetists who followed in her footsteps. Join us as we delve into part two of our conversation about Dagmar Nelson with show historians Nancy and Sandy.


Early Anesthesia: The Life and Trial of Dagmar Nelson (Part 1)

Most people know about Dagmar Nelson in terms of her being involved in the only court trial ever to test the legality of nurses administering anesthesia, but there’s much more to her than just that. We’ll lean on Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA to learn more about how amazing she was as a woman and what happened at the trial.


Ep 228: Betty Lank’s Role in Boston Children’s Hospital

The 20th century was filled with advancements in nursing and anesthesia with much of the innovation coming in the world of pediatrics. One of the women who had a huge hand in improving the care for children was Betty Lank, who worked as the Chief Nurse Anesthetist at Boston Children’s Hospital for decades. Today we’ll look back and her life and career with Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA and try to capture the im-pact she made on a hospital and a profession.


Ep 222: The Experience of a WWII Nurse Anesthetist & the Lessons Learned

When you look back over the history of nurse anesthesia, the most forgotten group of nurses might have been those that served the country during World War II. It took nearly a half-century to tell their story but thanks to Carolyn Nicholson, BSN, RN, BC the legacy of that group of incredible nurses is being carried on today. We’ll look back at the war and the role of nurse anesthetists by telling the story of Adeline Simonson, whose experience is very much like all the brave individuals serving on the front lines.




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Sharon graduated from the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Hospital Nurse Anesthesia program in 1992. She resides in North Carolina and currently works as a 1099 CRNA. Association service includes the President of the North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She served three years on the AANA (American Association of Nurse Anesthetists) Public Relations (PR) committee and conducted Media Training for state associations in conjunction with the AANA Senior Director of Strategic Communications, Chris Bettin. Sharon was the producer of the AANA PR award-winning video, The Best Kept Secret in Healthcare.

She chaired the Government Relations Committee of the AANA in 2009-2010 and has been a registered lobbyist and legislative involvement for over 22 years. Board of Director service at the national level of the AANA has included Region 2 Director, Vice President, President-Elect, and President in 2014-2015. Sharon ran for the North Carolina House of Representatives in 2015-16 but unfortunately lost in the primary. Not to be deterred, Sharon returned to school to obtain her Doctorate at Yale University, leading her to design the first-ever Candidate School for Nurses and Midwives. Although Covid intervened, canceling the pilot program, Sharon has created a Facebook Group called Influential Nurses, a group to facilitate, encourage, and empower nurses running for elected office. Sharon believes the time is now for nurses to take their rightful seats in positions of INFLUENCE. 


Jeremy Stanley is the president and founder of CRNA Financial Planning ®, an AANA Member Advantage Program Partner. For more than two decades, he has been helping CRNAs utilize their career paths to pursue their dreams. As a member of the Wake Forest Baptist Health
Nurse Anesthesia Program Advisory Committee, as well as a Public Trustee to the AANA Foundation, Jeremy stays abreast of the ever-evolving healthcare landscape as well as the political issues that affect CRNAs. An advocate for the CRNA profession, Jeremy has written two books – exclusively for CRNAs. “The Wealthy CRNA” lays out a foundational road map for CRNAs to plan their financial futures, and “A CRNA’s Life After Anesthesia” is designed to assist CRNAs in planning for retirement. Both books have been prior approved by the AANA for Class A CE credits.