Clemmons resident Courtney Brown honored as fellow of national association for nurse anesthetists

Published 12:02 am Thursday, November 10, 2022

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Anesthesia expert recognized for being outstanding practitioner and educator

RALEIGH — Clemmons resident Courtney Brown, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in the Level 3 Trauma Center at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (FAANA) during the AANA’s recent Annual Congress in Chicago. The AANA is the national organization representing nearly 59,000 of the nation’s CRNAs and student nurse anesthetists, anesthesia experts who deliver more than 50 million anesthetics to patients across the United States each year.

Brown was part of the AANA’s second class of FAANAs, a select group of anesthesia professionals who are recognized as accomplished leaders and outstanding practitioners, educators, researchers, and advocates for the profession.

“The honor of being recognized as an FAANA is very humbling,” Brown said. “I don’t think any FAANA inductee sets out to earn this distinction; rather, they follow a passion to its fullest potential. This honor then becomes an external validation that your work made an impact on your profession.”

Becoming an FAANA was just one of many changes for Brown in an eventful 2022. She also returned to full-time clinical practice, a decision that turned out to be everything she had hoped. “Going back to full-time anesthesia delivery has greatly excited and re-ignited my passion for nurse anesthesiology,” she said. “I also have a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion, and I am confident that becoming a fellow of the AANA will increase my opportunities to pursue this passion on the national level.”

A former assistant professor in the Nurse Anesthesia Program at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Brown said she believes “my time is now to mentor the next generation of educators” by providing content for the AANA’s Educator Edge on the CRNA Knowledge network, a streaming service for CRNAs to earn continuing education credits toward recertification.

Mentoring is another passion of Brown’s, one that evolved from her own experiences being mentored by outstanding CRNAs such as Michael Rieker and Sandy Ouellette, who both hail from North Carolina. Brown described them as “first-class educators.”

“Before becoming a CRNA, I struggled with a lack of confidence and self-esteem,” Brown said. “I would not have had the opportunity to make my own impact as an educator without their belief in me. The best mentors inspire their mentees to see themselves as greater than they see themselves. That is the rocket fuel to actualizing the goals that flow from your passion.”

Brown’s educational path to becoming a CRNA began at Lexington Community College in Lexington, Ky., where she earned her associate degree in nursing in 1994. She went on to earn her bachelor of science in nursing from Winston-Salem State University in 2004, master of science in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2007, and Certificate in Nurse Anesthesia from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program in 2007. In 2013, Brown received her PhD in nursing from UNC Greensboro.

About the North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NCANA)

The North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NCANA) is the professional association representing more than 3,400 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), military veterans and students in the state. It promotes and advances CRNA practice and patient access to high quality care through member engagement, partnerships and advocacy.