Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. -- Four members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) have been selected to join the 2021 Class of Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (Academy).  These Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are four of 225 distinguished nurse leaders who are experts in policy, research, administration, practice, and academia that champion health and wellness, locally and globally.

Edwin N. Aroke, PhD, CRNA, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing; Derrick C. Glymph, DNAP, CRNA, APRN, COL., AN, USAR, FAANA, of Florida International University, Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences; Robert Joseph Hawkins, PhD, DNP, MPH, MS, MBA, MA, CRNA, with the U.S. Navy; and Brett Morgan, DNP, CRNA, of the AANA and Duke University School of Nursing, will be recognized for their significant contributions to health and healthcare during the Academy’s annual Health Policy Conference, October 7-9, 2021.

Through a competitive, rigorous application process, a committee of elected Fellows reviews hundreds of applications and selects new Fellows based on their contributions to advance the public’s health. Induction into the Academy is a significant milestone in a nurse leader’s career in which their accomplishments are honored by their colleagues within the profession.

“I am very grateful and honored to be selected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing. This selection recognizes my significant contribution to nursing and healthcare,” Aroke said. “As one of a handful of doctorate-prepared Black male CRNAs, I have had the opportunity to make a significant national impact on research, policy, practice, and education, especially in the area of chronic pain and pain disparities. Additionally, I have mentored countless minority nurses pursuing careers in nurse anesthesia and (epi)genomic research, many who are delivering and improving the delivery of anesthesia around the country.”

Aroke has led research studies to substantially advance patient care through pharmacogenetics and enhanced understanding of the mechanisms underlying pain and chronic pain disparities using (epi)genomics sciences. In addition, he has assisted the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists Evaluation and Research Advisory Committee on policy changes to the Continued Professional Certification Program for 56,000 CRNAs.

Glymph’s research has focused especially on how to reduce opioid use in rural populations and those with opioid use disorders. He is a member of the editorial boards of the AANA Journal and Current Reviews for Nurse Anesthetists.  Glymph is a former committee member for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and served on the Florida Board of Nursing as well as its working group on opioid epidemic strategies for six years.

“This truly remarkable achievement is very humbling to me,” said Glymph. “Although I have worked in a variety of settings as an educator and army officer, my work and collaborative advocacy focused on improving the pain treatment approaches in vulnerable populations. This has greatly improved health outcomes of patients at risk of being overprescribed opioids.”

“Selection as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing will allow me to leverage previous leadership experiences in the Navy, as well as my credentialing and educational leadership experience, to expand impact on the quality of health and nursing care,” Hawkins said. “As a practicing nurse anesthetist, it is exciting to be able to provide this important perspective within the American Academy of Nursing as part of being a Fellow.”

As a Captain in the U. S. Navy, Hawkins has contributed to reviews of illness outbreaks on ships, including COVID-19. In addition, he has presented and published research on the delivery of high-quality anesthesia care, measured by outcomes and patient satisfaction. Hawkins is a member of the American Midwifery Certification Board and a past president of the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists.

Morgan currently is the senior director of Education and Practice at the AANA. He has published and presented extensively on nursing education and patient safety issues as well as clinical topics including gender-associated incivility in nursing education.

“As a clinical scholar and leader in advanced practice nursing education, my work has improved access to safe surgical care for millions of people and has demonstrated the strength of nurse-led approaches to complex health system issues,” Morgan said.  “This sustained program of scholarship and global health leadership has improved access to high-quality care, while raising the visibility of nurse anesthetists around the world.”