Agatha Hodgins was born in Toronto, Canada in 1877. She graduated from the Boston City Hospital Training School for Nurses in 1900 and went to work at Lakeside Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1908, surgeon George Crile asked her to be his anesthetist. Hodgins soon began to instruct nurses in the administration of anesthesia. In 1914, she served with Crile and others from Lakeside Hospital in France during World War I and taught many how to administer nitrous oxide-oxygen anesthesia. Hodgins formalized the Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia in 1915 after her return from France, and served as director from 1915 to 1933.
On June 17, 1931, she gathered together a group of Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia alumnae and held the organizational meeting of the National Association of Nurse Anesthetists (renamed the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists in 1939) at Lakeside Hospital. She was elected the first president of AANA (1931-1933) and was named Honorary President in 1933. She served as a Trustee from 1933 to 1945.
Hodgins retired in 1933 after suffering a heart attack, yet remained involved in association activities. Hodgins died March 24, 1945, in Chatham, Mass.