Timeline of AANA History, 1940s

1940
The Bulletin of the National Association of Nurse Anesthetists was renamed the Bulletin of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists to reflect the new name of the association.
 
Agatha Hodgins’ detailed study on proposed educational plans stated that the plans included proposals to “…survey and accredit listed schools of anesthesia; certify successful candidates, and create machinery for the registration of qualified graduate nurse anesthetists….”
 
The AANA seal, whose design is the Watchful Care of the Sleeper by the Light of the Lamp of Learning, was adopted.
 
The Board of Trustees voted to donate $300 “for research on anesthetic explosions being conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
 
Major Julia Flikke, superintendent, Army Nurse Corps, informed the AANA that nurse anesthetists would be appointed to the Army Nurse Corps with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. 
 
1941
Mary Elizabeth Appel became the Association’s first nonmember executive employee, replacing Anna Willenborg as executive secretary.
 
The fiscal year was changed to September 1 through August 31.
 
1941-1945
Nurse anesthetists provided anesthesia for the wounded in World War II.  Mildred Clark provided anesthesia to the wounded at Pearl Harbor.
 
1942
An editorial in the Bulletin provided a rallying call for civilian and military service on the part of nurse anesthetists.
 
“Anesthesia: A Career for the Graduate Nurse,” an eight-page brochure written by Gertrude Fife, was published to inform the public of the AANA’s objectives, educational program, and membership requirements.
 
Membership passed 2,500.
 
A survey to evaluate the courses given at schools of anesthesia was completed. The survey utilized on-site surveyors.
 
1943
The Annual Meeting was reduced to one day due to the war and staffing shortages.
 
With the lack of a quorum at the Annual Meeting, the officers elected the previous year remained in office. 
 
The Anesthesia Records Committee was formed to create a standardized anesthesia record.
 
1944
AANA membership was extended to African-American nurse anesthetists.
 
The Board of Trustess adopted blue and silver as the official colors of the association.
 
A bylaws revision indicated that members should use the credentials MAANA – Member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.
 
Gertrude Fife ended her 12-year tenure as editor of the Bulletin of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and chair of the Publications Committee.
 
1945
Agatha Hodgins became the AANA’s first donor when she gave a $100 bond to be “used as the nucleus of a fund, which, at some future date, will be used to further the educational program of the Association.” 
 
Publication of the Bulletin of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists is transferred to Chicago from Cleveland beginning with the May issue.
 
Founder and first president Agatha Hodgins died on March 24. (Read her obituary from the Bulletin)
 
The AANA published the recruitment brochure “Anesthesiology—A Specialized Field for Graduate Professional Nurses.”
 
The AANA administered its first qualifying (certification) examination on June 4.  The 38-page examination included true-false, fill-in, essay, and multiple-choice questions.  It was taken by 90 women in 39 hospitals in 28 states, plus one in the Territory of Hawaii.
 
The Bulletin of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists was renamed the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists beginning with the May issue.
 
The Annual Meeting was cancelled due to World War II.
 
The first Institute of Instructors of Anesthesiology was held in Chicago.
 
The Board of Trustees authorized the employment of a fourth person at the executive office.
 
1946
The office of the treasurer was transferred from Cleveland to Chicago on November 1, uniting the entire executive office in Chicago. 
 
The first Schools of Anesthesiology Assembly was held; it was an offshoot of the Institute of Instructors of Anesthesiology and would later be called the Assembly of School Faculty.
 
1947
AANA membership was extended to male nurse anesthetists.
 
The first issue of the AANA NewsBulletin was published.
 
Professional liability insurance was first made available to AANA members.
 
The Institute for Nurse Anesthetists, a refresher course for members, was held for the first time.
 
The Board of Trustees voted to hire a full-time editor who would also be responsible for public relations activities, and Virginia Thatcher was employed.
 
The first Award of Appreciation, the Association’s only award until 1975, was presented to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis.
 
The Government Relations and Nominating committees were formed.
 
Book reviews first appeared in the Journal of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

1948
Florence McQuillen was appointed executive director, a position she held for 22 years.
 
The Agatha Hodgins Educational Fund was established to provide loans to graduate nurse anesthetists who wish to take further training in order to teach in a school of anesthesia.
 
Emanuel Hayt was employed on retainer as legal counsel.
 
1949
Alice Hunt’s book, Anesthesia: Principles and Practice: a Presentation for the Nursing Profession, was published. It is the first-known book to be published by a nurse anesthetist.