Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. — The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) inducted its inaugural class of Fellows at the 2021 AANA Annual Congress on August 16. The professional designation of Fellow of the AANA (FAANA) recognizes Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) who are committed to the growth and advancement of the profession of nurse anesthesiology.

The first class of Fellows of the AANA is comprised of highly accomplished leaders with diverse achievements and impactful contributions. Fellows are CRNAs who have promoted and advanced the profession of nurse anesthesia and AANA through voluntary leadership, advanced skills and training, education, research, advocacy, and innovation. The Fellows of the AANA is funded through the AANA Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports research and education in nurse anesthesiology.

“With great pride and admiration, I welcome our new Fellows of the AANA and congratulate them on this honor. Earning the FAANA designation is a major career achievement that reflects years of dedication and a commitment to pursuing excellence in every endeavor,” said Wilma Gillis, BSN, CRNA, APNP, Fellows Selection Committee Chair. “Our Fellows are seen as visionaries, leading the way for the future of nurse anesthesia. This is a proud moment for AANA and the AANA Foundation as well as each Fellow and the profession of nurse anesthesia.”

Through a competitive, rigorous application process, the Fellows Selection Committee meticulously reviewed applications to select the inaugural 2021 class of Fellows. Each Fellow has at least 10 years of professional experience as a practitioner of nurse anesthesia, educator, facility leader, or business leader. In addition, they have demonstrated outstanding achievements in nurse anesthesia and leadership that command respect and recognition from other leaders in the profession.  Their impactful contributions demonstrate professional and personal growth through the use of innovative, creative solutions within and outside of the profession.

As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs have critical care experience and practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural and underserved areas and on the battlefield in forward surgical teams.