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.

WWI: Nurse Anesthetists in Action

Anne Penland
"An Unsung Hero: Anne Penland, Nurse Anesthetist"
Imagining in Time, AANA Journal, 2018;86(2):64-71. [PDF]

WWII: Nurse Anesthetists in Action

Rosalie McDonald
Rosalie McDonald
"There 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 have 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.
 
Adeline Simonson
"'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]

Captain Clara A. Vezina
Captain Clara A. Vezina: Cited for War Service
AANA Journal, February 1946, p. 62 [PDF]
 
Lieutenant Ruth Toenberg
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.

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