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Official news from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Muckler Recognized as One of Nurse Anesthesia’s Most Influential Educators

  • Aug 8, 2019

For Immediate Release: August 8, 2019
For more information, contact AANA Public Relations

Park Ridge, Ill. – Chris Muckler, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) and U.S. Air Force veteran from Durham, N.C., will receive the Didactic Instructor of the Year award from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) during the Annual Congress, August 9-13 in Chicago, Ill.

The Didactic Instructor of the Year Award, established in 1991, is presented to an individual who has made significant contributions to the education of student nurse anesthetists in the classroom.

Chris is an associate clinical professor and the interim program director at Duke University’s Nurse Anesthesia Program in Durham, N.C. 

“It is a great honor to be selected as the recipient of the 2019 Didactic Instructor of the Year award. My role as teacher and student is vastly intertwined, more than I originally appreciated,” said Muckler. “Despite extensive lesson plans and my best intentions, students have unintentionally taught me much needed, valuable lessons about teaching. Being receptive and valuing their direction was a prominent turning point. Many heartfelt thanks to mentors, colleagues, and most importantly, our students. Thank you.”

A leader in simulation teaching, Dr. Muckler developed a simulation program at Duke University that provides novel learning experiences for students. The program models best practice in simulation and includes evidence-based scenarios including crises, pediatrics, obstetric, interprofessional, and transgender simulated scenarios. Dr. Muckler is involved in local, national, and international simulation opportunities, although her most valued work is that of her students in the Simulation LiFE she created, a structured peer-to-peer teaching and learning program for third year students that aims to increase future nurse anesthesia educators.

In addition to providing simulation education, Dr. Muckler has provided input and oversight in over 40 doctor of nursing practice (DNP) projects for nurse anesthesia students. In addition, she educates senior students interested in becoming nurse anesthesia educators to participate as facilitators and educators for the first-year nurse anesthesia students at Duke University.

A CRNA for more than 17 years, Muckler earned her doctor of nursing practice degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C., and her master’s in nurse anesthesia from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. In addition, she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Auburn University in Montgomery, Ala., an associate degree in applied science from the Community College of the Air Force, and associate degrees in science and arts from Surry Community College in Dobson, N.C.

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