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UI’s Anesthesia Nursing Program to Make Considerable Impact at AANA’s Annual Conference

Cormac O’Sullivan
Heather Bair

Faculty from the University of Iowa’s tenth-ranked anesthesia nursing program will be running a combination of presentations and simulation experiences during the Annual Congress of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), one of the profession’s most significant conferences. 

Cormac O’Sullivan, PhD, CRNA, ARNP, associate professor and director of the UI College of Nursing’s anesthesia nursing program, Heather Bair, DNP, CRNA, ARNP, assistant professor and associate program director of the college’s anesthesia nursing program, and Dr. Michael Anderson, the program’s clinical director, will be leading a day of simulation-based education at the AANA event.

Through this collaborative effort, the UI team will be sharing their expertise with hundreds of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student nurse anesthetists from around the country. On Monday, September 24, Dr. O’Sullivan will present “Preparing for Perioperative Emergencies Through Simulation.” Immediately following the presentation, Drs. Bair and Anderson will conduct a companion session via simulation. 

The team will be holding multiple sessions, giving a total of four lectures and conducting four corresponding simulations during the conference. Dr. Bair noted that this is the first time that simulation has been incorporated into AANA’s annual meeting.

“The experience will focus on low-frequency, high-risk perioperative events like code blue, malignant hyperthermia, and other events unique to the perioperative setting. The goal of the program is to expose participants to the use of cognitive aids during simulation to improve outcomes during these rare emergencies,” explained Dr. O’Sullivan. “Hopefully, these participants will return to their facilities and engage their administrators in a program to educate their entire facility on the benefit of cognitive aids and on-site simulation for these rare events. We hope this will improve outcomes for patients undergoing anesthesia and surgery throughout the nation.”

Alumni and friends of UI’s College of Nursing who are in the Boston area during the conference are invited to join Dean Julie Zerwic for a lunch reception to celebrate the accomplishments of the faculty, students, and alumni from the college’s nurse anesthetist program. The event will be held Sunday, September 23, from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. For more information, or to RSVP, please email the

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Founded in 1931, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional association representing more than 52,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists nationwide. The AANA promulgates education and practice standards and guidelines, and affords consultation to both private and governmental entities regarding nurse anesthetists and their practice. The AANA Foundation supports the profession by awarding education and research grants to students, faculty and practicing CRNAs. More than 90 percent of the nation's nurse anesthetists are members of AANA. Learn more at

Posted On: 
Aug 31st, 2018