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Official news from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

O’Sullivan Named Anesthesia’s Program Director of the Year

  • Aug 8, 2019

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

Park Ridge, Ill. – Dr. Cormac T. O’Sullivan, PhD, MSN, CRNA, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) from Coralville, Iowa, will receive the Program Director of the Year Award from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) during the Annual Congress in Chicago, Ill.

Dr. O’Sullivan is the program administrator for the University of Iowa College of Nursing DNP Program in Nurse Anesthesia and practices clinically at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. A remarkable leader and mentor, Dr. O’Sullivan did not know he was destined to be an educator. Hired as only the fifth CRNA at UIHC in 1996, he was asked to “give a few lectures” for the SRNAs.

“I just wanted to be a really good CRNA but when I started lecturing, my father-in-law, a professor of Physiology, kept asking me when I was going to start my PhD studies. One thing led to another, I had some great mentors, a very supportive wife, a lot of luck, and I fell in love with teaching.” Furthering the profession of nurse anesthesia through research, education, and practice development is now O’Sullivan’s life goal.

Upon becoming program director in 2009, Dr. O’Sullivan immediately transitioned the Iowa program to become the second Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA) approved Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) nurse anesthesia program in the country. The Iowa nurse anesthesia program has produced 182 CRNAs and, due to O’Sullivan’s leadership, over 105 have earned their doctor of nursing practice degrees.

The consummate healthcare provider, he is part of a three-nurse team that has secured funding to develop a “Simulation in Motion” – a mobile simulation truck that will provide simulated education to emergency medical services personnel, rural hospital staff, and critical access hospital providers throughout Iowa. O’Sullivan led a team of noted anesthesia simulation educators to provide perioperative emergency simulation education for the attendees at the AANA Annual Congresses in 2018 and 2019.

A CRNA for more than 23 years, O’Sullivan earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Iowa, his CRNA from Ravenswood (Northshore University), his master’s degree in nurse anesthesia from DePaul University in Chicago, Ill., and his doctorate degree in Health Services and Policy from the University of Iowa.

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