Students Gather for Annual Luncheon

On Monday, Aug. 12, student registered nurse anesthetists gathered for one of the main events planned specifically for them: the Student Luncheon.
Following a welcome from Emily Grost, BSN, student representative to the Education Committee, a packed audience of SRNAs and educators heard remarks from the AANA President Janice Izlar, CRNA, DNAP;  Charles Vacchiano, CRNA, PhD, representing the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists, and Jack Hitchens, CRNA, BA, chair of the AANA Foundation. The luncheon also recognized outstanding achievement with the presentation of Student Writing Contest winner and the Student Excellence Award, and the announcement of the new student representative to the Education Committee.
Farewell Remarks
The Student Luncheon marked the end of Grost’s term as student representative, and she reflected on her experiences on the committee and as a student in her farewell remarks. “I come to this meeting and my passion is reignited,” she began. “We are surrounded by the most inspired leaders in our profession, and their enthusiasm is contagious.” After thanking family, friends, her program director John O’Donnell, CRNA, DrPh, and the AANA, she thanked the student body for electing her: “I hope I was able to serve you well as a voice of students,” she said.
Grost then related a deeply personal anecdote that illustrates how classmates can become family. “Anesthesia school is the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” she said. Having moved from San Diego to Pittsburgh, where she knew no one, Grost told the audience that, “Like many of you, I gave up everything for this dream.”
Six weeks into her program, she experienced “the worst day of my life,” when, during a lecture, she found out that she had almost lost her only sister. After the lecture, she “basically collapsed.” It was then that her new classmates rallied around her, and supported her through her ordeal. “I had never before experienced the kindness of strangers,” she said. “They had become my family.”
Her experience led her to urge the audience to support their fellow classmates. “You may never know the impact you will make in someone’s life, by just being present and there for them. She concluded her remarks by looking to the future: “In 123 days I expect to stand on a stage with 21 of my family members, and we will say we did it. We just accomplished our dreams.”
Welcome to the New Student Rep
Thea Cole, RN, BSN, was introduced to the audience as the fiscal year 2014 student representative to the Education Committee. Cole is a student at University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing Nurse Anesthesia Program. Read more about her here.
Congatulations to the Winners
Student Writing Contest
The purpose of the annual Student Writing Contest is to encourage students to write for professional publications. The 2013 winner is Ashley Grace Piper, RN, BSN, for her paper titled “Cough Reflex Physiology.” Piper is a student at York College of Pennsylvania/WellSpan Health Nurse Anesthetist Programm York, Pa.
Student Excellence Award
The award is presented to a student nominated by their program administrator who demonstrates excellence in at least one of three areas: Leadership; Scholarship, or Service. The 2013 awardee is Kathryn Cass, RN, BSN, a student at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes Jewish College Nurse Anesthesia Program, St. Louis, Mo.