In Service of Our Country

We recognize the military service that CRNAs have given to America.

  • Celebrating Veterans and Their Service on Veterans Day
    In honor of Veterans Day, the AANA offers these resources, information, videos and activities in celebration of those who have served in the U.S. military, and those who care for our veterans.
  • A Tranquil Place of Honor
    Learn about the monument outside AANA headquarters that is dedicated to CRNAs who have answered the call to serve.
  • Vietnam Voices
    The AANA is proud to recognize our CRNAs who served in the Vietnam War.
  • War Stories
    Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists have served in the military since the Civil War. Read some of their amazing stories.

Additional Recognition Efforts

Joining Forces Initiative

The American Nurses Association and the Department of Veterans Affairs have partnered to facilitate and coordinate a collective voice of the nursing profession in full support of "Joining Forces." Joining Forces is former First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive national initiative, to mobilize all sectors of the community to give our service members, veterans, and their families the support they deserve, particularly when it comes to employment, education, and wellness.
 
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists has pledged its support to this important initiative. Three AANA members - FY2011 AANA President Debra Malina, CRNA, DNSc, MBA; Bette Wildgust, CRNA, MSN, MS; and Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists President Kelly Wiltse Nicely, CRNA, PhD - attended the White House event on April 11, 2012. The event encourages healthcare professionals to train in dealing with conditions such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder common to returning Veterans.
 
How To Join

To Join Forces with the profession of nursing to inspire and prepare each nurse to recognize the unique health and wellness concerns of this population, and thereby improving their lives, please read the ANA-VA letter, pledge, and supporting documents linked in the sidebar. If you agree, go to Joining Forces and pledge your active support in this initiative.

Have You Ever Served?

Have You Ever Served"Have You Ever Served?" is an initiative that affects both healthcare providers and our patients. Various exposures over the course of a soldier’s service can affect his or her well being and should be considered prior to undergoing anesthesia: resulting conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), respiratory illnesses, etc. The American Academy of Nursing is seeking to improve the quality of veterans' healthcare with this simple question and urges healthcare providers to use it in order to identify and address any healthcare issues rising from a patient's service in the military.
 
The campaign was launched in Alabama, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, initially benefitting approximately one million veterans. Subsequently, "Have You Ever Served?" was rolled out to all 50 states over a three-year period.
 
In addition to the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), "Have You Ever Served?" is sponsored by the Veterans Support Foundation and the Connecticut Department of Veteran's Affairs.
 
Joining Forces Campaign
"Have you ever served in the military?" represents the AAN’s commitment to former First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s Joining Forces campaign, to mobilize all sectors of the community to support veterans and their families. Nurses, healthcare’s equivalent to the boots on the ground, are uniquely positioned to facilitate this fundamental change of ensuring vital information is obtained and recorded in order to improve the quality of healthcare provided to our veterans and their families.

WWII: Nurse Anesthetists in Action

Rosalie McDonald
Rosalie McDonaldThere is no need to remind you that our country and our profession are in the midst of a global war so big that even keen minds cannot encompass its magnitude."

~ AANA President Rosalie McDonald (1942-1944)
 
Nurse anesthetists administered anesthesia and cared for American soldiers throughout American combat history. Here are some of the nurse anesthetists who served during World War II (1941-1945).
 
COL Mildred Irene Clark
Pearl Harbor 75"Pearl Harbor, the Korean Conflict, and COL Mildred Irene Clark," Imagining in Time, AANA Journal, 2000;68(6):487-490.
 
"'Don't Worry About Me': The World War II Experience of Adeline Simonson
Nurse Anesthetist with the 95th Evacuation Hospital," Imagining in Time, AANA Journal, 2016;84(5):309-315. [PDF]
 
Martha Cameron and Kathleen Flynn: Nurses in Normandy
"D-Day Scrapbook," TampaBay.com, June 6, 2007
Audio Interview [Note Broken links]
 
Captain Clara A. Vezina: Cited for War Service
AANA Journal, February 1946, p. 62 [PDF]
 
Lieutenant Ruth Toenberg: Navy Nurse Cited for Meritorious Service
AANA Journal, November 1945, p. 42.
 
Marie Botsford Finegan
Marie Botsford Finegan served in the Navy Nurse Corps from 1944-1947. She was stationed at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland, Calif. Advancing the Art and Science of Anesthesia for 75 Years: A Pictoral History of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, 2006, p. 51.