Military Experience Inspires Nurse Anesthetists to Continue Serving Fellow Veterans in VA

  • Nov 10, 2016

For Immediate Release:  November 10, 2016    
For more information, contact: AANA Public Relations

Park Ridge, Illinois – On this 78th observance of Veterans Day,* military, veteran, and civilian Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) stand shoulder to shoulder with the veterans they serve, providing safe, high quality anesthesia care in Veterans Administration (VA) facilities across the country. “We are proud to stand with our veterans, and consider it an honor to care for those who have given so much of themselves on our behalf,” said Cheryl Nimmo, DNP, MSHSA, CRNA, president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), and a veteran herself.

Many CRNAs are educated in the two military nurse anesthesia programs (U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, San Antonio, Texas, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.). After serving in the military, CRNAs often continue to provide anesthesia care to fellow veterans by practicing in the VA healthcare system.

Recently, the VA proposed a rule to allow all advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including CRNAs, to practice to the full extent of their education and training within the VA system. The AANA supports the proposed rule, saying it will expand access to care for veterans currently dealing with long wait times for needed healthcare in the VA system.

“Our veterans deserve more than a ‘thank you,’” said Nimmo. “They deserve the best care the American healthcare system can give them, and in a timely manner. CRNAs are proven anesthesia providers, having first administered anesthesia on the battlefields of the Civil War. Today CRNAs are the main anesthesia providers in the military, especially on the front lines, and we are inspired to continue serving our veterans as part of the VA system.

“CRNAs are a ready-made solution within the VA, and all evidence-based studies confirm our expertise and safety in anesthesia care,” said Nimmo. “As anesthesia professionals, we offer safe, cost-effective anesthesia care to veterans in need of timely healthcare.”

CRNAs are known for their compassionate hands-on, holistic approach to care, staying with patients throughout their surgery, watching over their vital signs and administering anesthesia safely and expertly.

* Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

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