Why I Became a CRNA

Lynn L. Lebeck, PhD, CRNA

  • Jan 7, 2010

CRNA Since 1992

Lynn LebeckLynn LeBeck, CRNA, PhD
I became a CRNA because, although I loved being an RN and working full-time in labor and delivery – it just wasn’t enough. I wanted more autonomy and a greater impact. While in my associate degree nursing program, I thought that my next step was going to become a Certified Nurse Midwife – that’s why I went first to labor and delivery. But after several years, as well as dealing with resident physicians, who assume that because they were a “Doctor” (even with little labor and delivery experience) they knew more than I (with years of labor and delivery experience) about laboring women, I’d had enough!
It was about time for a change. At that time I said to my mother, “I’m thinking about going to anesthesia school.” My mother, Ruth Wright, CRNA, had been a CRNA since 1953, was an anesthesia “pioneer,” and really put her heart and soul into the profession! My program faculty at the University of Detroit-Mercy taught me how to administer anesthesia, and my mother showed me how to make an impact within the nurse anesthesia profession. I earned a Masters of Science in Anesthesia and knew even then I was going to be an anesthesia program faculty/program director. Since I expected to need even more education in my lifetime to do that, I went on to earn my PhD before it was required – not easy, but worth it.
So now I am a program director and teaching the next generation of CRNAs. It is an endeavor that can be both rewarding and frustrating and sometimes both at the same time. The next challenge is implementing the move of entry to practice education to the clinical doctorate level. The challenge is the lack of doctorally prepared CRNAs to be faculty in clinical doctorate programs so I am working on implementing a clinical doctorate completion program for masters prepared CRNAs–the Doctor of Science in Anesthesia Practice (DSAP) at the University of Michigan-Flint.
Stay tuned, more to come.

Ruth Wright

Ruth Wright, CRNA
30th Annual Agatha Hodgins Award for
Outstanding Accomplishment Recipient

"I consider my service and my daughter, Dr. Lynn Lebeck,
to be my legacy to our profession."