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Nurse Anesthesia Students Get Career Ready

December 8, 2015

On November 16, 2015, graduating students in the Nurse Anesthesia Program attended the first of what faculty and staff hope will become an annual career preparedness event.  Nurse Anesthesia Program Professional Development Career Day brought recruiters from top industry employers, such as EmCare, Sheridan Health Care, Somnia Anesthesia Services, and U.S. Army Healthcare together with two program alumni to Three Parkway to share their advice and experience with 20 future CRNAs.
Addressing the group, Hugh Morgan, MHA, vice president, Quality Assurance at Somnia, said, “Without question, the rock of every single one of our practices – even the largest ones – are CRNAs.” The company works coast to coast with clinicians and has a unique lens for examining market trends. 
Morgan reiterated that the trajectory for CRNAs is steadily moving upward. “Options are plentiful! We’ve seen 20% growth in CRNAs from December 2012-2014.” For the most opportunity, Morgan advised students to look west. More states in the western United States allow CRNAs to deliver anesthesia without the supervision of a physician. “As you progress west, there’s a different feel for CRNA providers. It’s great to see the value, and in some cases, that CRNAs are preferred.”  Morgan cautioned students that not every opportunity is equal, and offered tips for evaluating an opportunity in a field he described as an “ultra-competitive food chain.” 
Following the presentation, students divided into groups to attend breakout sessions and network more closely with the recruiters before regrouping for a panel discussion.
Seated at the panel was program alumna, Mora O’Neill ‘10, a CRNA at St. Christopher’s, who advised, “As you seek out employment opportunities, keep in mind what environment you’re getting into. Look to be both challenged and supported at the same time.”
Each recruiter had an opportunity to summarize the qualities they seek in their ideal candidate. CPT Candace Gordon, representing U.S. Army Healthcare, looks for an individual who is committed to serving more than just his or herself. 
The ability to work well as a member of a team seemed to rank high among all of the recruiters. Morgan said, “Anesthesia is a team sport. The ability to work as a team is critical.”
Concluding the panel discussion, Charlotte Dean, residency and fellowship relations manager from Sheridan, shared, “When you interview, they’ll see the energy and drive. You’ll need that in your career.”
When asked by recruiters if they found the event informative, students gave a resounding “yes.”
Liliana Quintero Garcia, a graduating student in the Nurse Anesthesia Program, agreed. “I believe the most valuable information was about how to prepare for an interview. I appreciated their advice on what to look for in a job, whether it’s salary or coworkers – to identify what the most important thing is for you.”