Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia at SONHS

Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia at SONHS


Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia at SONHS

School of Nursing and Health Studies teams with U.S. mentoring program to help diversify nurse anesthesia workforce

Nearly 200 nurses from across the United States interested in nurse anesthesia programs attended the 43rd Diversity CRNA Information Session & Airway Simulation Lab Workshop, held at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) over the weekend.

SONHS collaborated on the event with the nonprofit Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentorship Program, whose mission is to inform, empower, and mentor underserved diverse populations across the country in preparation for successful nurse anesthesia careers.

Saturday’s opening panel featured SONHS Nurse Anesthesia Program director, Juan E. Gonzalez, PhD, CRNA; Dean Cindy L. Munro, PhD, RN, ANP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, FAAS; and Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia Mentoring Program president John Bing, CRNA, and founder and CEO Wallena Gould, EdD, CRNA, FAAN. According to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), about 11 percent (or 5,940) of this nation’s 54,000 certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) are minorities (African-American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native Indian, and other/non-Caucasian). 

Dr. Gonzalez, who led Sunday’s hands-on airway simulation lab workshop in the Simulation Hospital, encouraged participants to pursue advanced degrees as CRNAs. “Find your passion, tell us your story, and dream big!” he told them. “You can do this!” He also thanked CRNA faculty and nurse anesthesia students from SONHS for contributing to the workshop’s success.

The weekend’s keynote speaker, AANA president Garry Brydges, PhD, DNP, MBA, ACNP-BC, CRNA, FAAN, has noted that the U.S. health care system will increasingly rely on advanced practice nursing professionals, such as CRNAs, to ensure access to extremely safe, cost-effective care for patients. 

Introducing Brydges was SONHS alumna, Dr. Ekelechi Nwanju, DNP ’18, CRNA, one of the mentoring program’s many successful graduates. SONHS Nurse Anesthesia Track students Ramniwas Yadav and Carlos Moreno spoke on Saturday’s student panel, received certificates for their recent scholarship awards from the AANA Foundation and the Army Nurse Corps Association, respectively.

The faculty panel included nurse anesthesia program directors from SONHS, the University of Minnesota, Barry University, and Florida International University, who offered comprehensive guidance on admissions, balancing family and finances, clinical expectations for CRNA programs, and much more. 

In 2014, SONHS launched Florida’s first doctoral anesthesia degree program. In 2019, the program received the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs’ maximum 10-year reaccreditation. For more information, visit https://anesthesia.sonhs.miami.edu/index.html.

Established in 1948, the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies transforms lives and health care through education, research, innovation, and service across the hemisphere. 


CRNA Group