The Earliest Nurse Anesthesia Pioneers

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

On This Episode:

Step back in time as we celebrate the trailblazing nurse anesthetists who forged a path for today’s CRNAs. 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. Hear stories of the first nurse anesthetists, whose contributions to medicine have often been overshadowed by time but are no less significant.

From the battlefields of the Civil War to the prestigious halls of the Mayo Clinic, the history of nurse anesthesia is a tale of bravery, innovation, and unwavering commitment to patient care. We’re excited to have this discussion with two CRNAs who have risen up the ranks. Stacy is a past president of the NCANA and current AANA Region Four Director while Megan is NCANA president-elect.

The episode doesn’t just recount the past; it connects the dots to the present, reminding us that the vigilance and expertise of nurse anesthetists today are rooted in a long and proud tradition.

 

Here’s some of what we discuss in this episode:

  • Nurses were not only the first to give anesthesia, but were and continue to be the clear experts in anesthesia with an amazing safety record from the beginning of surgical anesthesia until today.
  • Nurses went to the frontlines to care for soldiers and administer anesthesia, and nurse anesthetists are still the ones on the frontlines.
  • The stories of these early nurse anesthetists need to be told because history often leaves them out.
  • Today’s CRNAs should be educated and proud of our nurse anesthesia history and know our profession would not be where it is today without the commitment of these ladies.
  • It’s exciting to think what the 60,000 plus CRNAs will accomplish in the future going forward for our patients and our profession.

 

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Nurses were not only the first to give anesthesia and specialize in it, but continue to be the experts in anesthesia with amazing safety records.

– Megan Conner, PhD, CRNA


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