Newswise — PARK RIDGE, ILLINOIS – Wallena Gould, CRNA, EdD, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), from Mickleton, N.J., has been elected as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing (AAN). Gould joins the ranks of an elite group of just over 2,000 nursing professionals, and only 25 CRNAs, who have been elected as AAN Fellows since the academy was established in 1973. Gould is the first CRNA of color to be inducted.

Gould is the chief nurse anesthetist at Mainline Endoscopy Centers in Bala Cynwood, Malvern, and Riddle, Pa. She is the founder and CEO of the Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program in 2002. To date, the mentorship program has guided over 400 students that have successfully matriculated through 54 of the 114 nurse anesthesia programs nationwide. The New Jersey native is also the lead consultant on the Health Resources and Services Administration Workforce Diversity Grant ($1,033,364) received from the University of Tennessee Nurse Anesthesia Program at Chattanooga. In addition, she serves on the editorial board for Minority Nurse Magazine.

“It is an amazing honor to be inducted into such a prestigious organization among healthcare’s most notable nurses,” said Gould. “I look forward to bringing my energy and enthusiasm for nurse anesthesia to the American Academy of Nursing.”

The AAN is an organization of distinguished nursing leaders who are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the profession through publications, research, awards and honors, professional activities, and community service. The academy’s Fellows represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 24 countries. Gould’s induction took place during the academy’s 2015 Annual Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 17.

A CRNA for more than 10 years, Gould’s current objective through the Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program is to increase the racial profile of CRNAs from 10 to 20 percent by 2030. “There is still much work to be done before we reach the point where our diverse patient population is reflected in a diverse nurse anesthesia profession,” stated Gould.

About the American Association 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 49,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States. As advanced practice registered nurses and anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer more than 40 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. For more information, visit

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