For immediate release: February 12, 2020
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations
PARK RIDGE, Ill. (AANA)—The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) honors our nation’s veterans during National Salute to Veteran Patients Week, Feb. 9-15. The week pays tribute to the more than 9 million veterans who are proudly cared for in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers and other VA facilities. The healthcare professionals who work in the VA system—including nurse anesthetists—are also recognized this week for their important work in caring for veterans.
Nurse anesthetists, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), are the primary providers of anesthesia care for the nation’s military personnel. Among employed CRNAs, about 20% have been in the military in the past, either on active duty or in the reserves.
“My first job after graduation from nursing school was in a Veterans Hospital, where I witnessed firsthand the extent of the sacrifice made by our service men and women,” said AANA President Kate Jansky, MHS, CRNA, APRN, USA, LTC (ret). “Later, it was a VA nurse anesthetist who encouraged me to become a CRNA.”
Jansky went on to attend the U.S. Army Anesthesiology Program for Nurse Corps Officers and serve on active duty as a CRNA in the United States Army, where CRNAs are the primary anesthesia providers caring for service members on the front lines and their families at home.
“It was my privilege to serve on active duty and attend the U.S. Army Anesthesiology Program for Nurse Corps Officers. We were educated to practice independently, and to the full scope of our education and training, knowing we might be the only anesthesia provider available,” said Jansky. “As a veteran now myself, I am grateful to have the VA available for my care.”
AANA CEO Randall Moore, DNP, MBA, CRNA, is a retired military veteran who served for 22 years as an infantryman, combat medic, and CRNA in the Army Reserve and Illinois National Guard. He was deployed with Forward Surgical Teams in Afghanistan and provided combat casualty care.
“It was an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience, and I frequently think about the people we were able to save as well as the patients that didn’t make it,” Moore recalled. “Providing anesthesia care at the top of my education and training was the most rewarding and formative experience of my professional career.”
This National Salute to Veteran Patients Week, the AANA joins people across the nation in expressing our appreciation and gratitude to veterans and honoring their service.
“Only a very small percentage of Americans serve in the military, so we want them to know that the AANA appreciates and honors their service and sacrifice,” Moore said.