CRNA Profiles: Florence Henderson

Florence Henderson was another prominent nurse anesthetist at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. She provided safe anesthesia to Dr. Charles Mayo’s patients from 1904 to 1917, and was a specialist in the administration of ether. She disseminated her knowledge by speaking at medical societies and publishing articles. In 1913 she read her paper, “Ether Anesthesia,” before the Southern Minnesota Medical Association. She was the only nurse to speak, and her paper was published the next year in the St. Paul Medical Journal. In 1917 she moved to California and provided anesthesia for a group of surgeons until her retirement in the 1920s. 


 Sources for Additional Information on Henderson

Harris NA, Hunziker-Dean J. Florence Henderson: the art of open-drop ether. Nursing History Review. 2001;9:159-184.
Hunziker-Dean J. Voice and touch: Florence Henderson on the skills of an ether specialist. AANA Journal. 1999;67(3):263-269. [Includes a reprint of her article "Ether Anesthesia"]
Pougiales J. The first anesthetizers at the Mayo Clinic. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. 1970;38(3):235-241.
Thatcher VS. History of Anesthesia with Emphasis on the Nurse Specialist. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott; 1953.

 Henderson's Bibliography

Henderson F. The nurse as an anaesthetist. American Journal of Nursing. 1909;9(12):947-949, discussion 950-953. 
Henderson F. Ether anaesthesia. St. Paul Medical Journal. 1914;16(2):74-81, discussion 81-82. [Reprinted in the AANA Journal]
Henderson F. Observations drawn from an experience of twenty-two thousand surgical anaesthetics. Southern California Practitioner. 1917;32:154-158.