Newswise — Brian Thorson, MA, CRNA, APRN, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), from Minneapolis, Minn will receive the Ira P. Gunn Award during the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Annual Congress, September 8-12, 2017 in Seattle, Wash. 

 “I will be forever grateful to those who nominated me for this award,” said Brian Thorson, MA, CRNA, APRN. “I have spent the last 30 years advocating for the profession of nurse anesthesia, and have seen positive results in the judicial, legislative, and regulatory areas.  “Set your sights on what you want to accomplish and then figure out how to get it done.”

 Thorson has been a part of every major legislative advancement for nurse anesthesia in Minnesota over the last 25 years.  His efforts have resulted in Medicare reimbursement policy being changed, defining CRNA practice in Minnesota’s Nurse Practice Act, and the 2002 Minnesota supervision opt-out from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services for CRNAs and other advanced practice nurses.  Thorson is both a staff anesthetist and charge nurse anesthetist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. 



  • Master’s degree in curriculum development and instruction from the College of St. Thomas.
  • Certificate in nurse anesthesia from St. Paul-Ramsey School of Nurse Anesthesiology
  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Winona State University and a bachelor’s in Mortuary Science and Business from the University of Minnesota




Ira P. Gunn Award

 The Ira P. Gunn Award was established in 2000 to recognize Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists or other persons who make significant contributions to promoting and/or protecting legal, legislative, and regulatory practice rights of nurse anesthetists.








Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., and Washington, D.C., the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional organization representing more than 52,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States. As advanced practice registered nurses and anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America. In some states, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals.


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