Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. -- Kay K. Sanders, DNP, MHS, BS, BA, CRNA, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) from Fort Worth, Texas will receive the 39th Annual Helen Lamb Outstanding Educator Award during the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Annual Congress in Chicago, Ill. The Helen Lamb Outstanding Educator Award, established in 1980, is presented to a CRNA who has made a significant contribution to the education of nurse anesthetists. The award recognizes the individual’s commitment to the profession of nurse anesthesia and to the advancement of educational standards that further the art and science of anesthesiology and result in high quality patient care. Kay is the former nurse anesthesia program administrator in the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She retired from this position May 31, 2019.

As the longest serving program director in the state of Texas, Kay has had a hand in educating more than 1,200 students as the program administrator at Texas Wesleyan’s Graduate Program of Nurse Anesthesia, and as founding director of the School of Nurse Anesthesia at Texas Christian University, for a combined 30 years.  Kay has leveraged distance education and created a culture focused on students and faculty.

“As program director, I feel my significant national contribution is an academic and clinical education model that moved anesthesia education from a local endeavor at a single hospital to one academic center with multiple clinical education sites across the nation,” said Sanders.  “This model is now frequently utilized nationally by the current 121 CRNA programs, with over 3,500 COA approved clinical sites and more than 2,400 graduates per year.”

Known for her innovation, she responded to the AANA’s call for academic partners to develop a Chronic Pain Management fellowship program, and TCU was competitively selected.  With more than 53 presentations, lectures, and testimonies at the state, national, and international levels, Kay is a recognized thought leader in the nurse anesthesia profession.  

A CRNA for more than 35 year, Sanders earned her doctorate degree in nursing practice from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, and her master’s degree in nurse anesthesia from Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth, Texas.  In addition, she received a bachelor’s degree in nursing with honors from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Tulane University in New Orleans, La.


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 nearly 53,000 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 45

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 and anesthesia-care and follow @aanawebupdates on Twitter.

Meeting Link: AANA Annual Congress, August 9-13, 2019