The early years of anesthesia were a time when nurses proved just how valuable they were as this new world was being explored. Olive Berger, CRNA was one of the women that rose to the occasion and helped shape the profession through her work with ‘blue babies’ and with the AANA. Today we look back on her career with show historians Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA.
CRNA HISTORY SERIES
On this look back through the history of nurse anesthesia, we’ll tell you the story of Catherine Lawrence. This Civil War nurse became the first to administer anesthesia during the Second Battle of Bull Run but she also accomplished a lot more during her life. Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, will give us all the details and help us learn more about this important figure in nursing.
Today we’re continuing the conversation with Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, on the history of CRNAs in the workforce. In part two, we’ll look at educational changes since 2010 along with the updated statistics on active professionals and students. We’ll also turn our attention to the future of anesthesia and discuss the trends that might be on the horizon.
Over the past five decades, quite a bit of attention has been paid to the challenges facing the CRNA workforce, especially when numbers dropped significantly in the 80s and 90s. The lack of manpower pushed Congress, the AANA, and other organizations to study the reasons behind the lack of graduates and determine what solutions might exist. Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, join us today to take us back through the history of these shortages and the studies that followed in part one of this two-part series.
In November of 2021, the AANA lost a great man in Patrick Downey. This former president and patriarch of the Diamond Club served as a CRNA for more than 50 years and impacted many lives along the way. It’s fitting that this St. Patrick’s Day episode is a look back at his incredible life and the work he did for nurse anesthesia.
Forty years have passed since the Tax, Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) became law and this piece of federal legislation changed the way payment and reimbursement was tracked. Today we’ll look back on the history of TEFRA with Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, to learn more about the reasons behind it, how the AANA responded, and what revisions have been made through the years.
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SHARON PEARCE, CRNA
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.