Considered the most independently advanced practice nurses, CRNAs have a high degree of autonomy that is not possible just with a RN designation licensure. “We are pretty much parallel with our physician counterparts of the same specialty,” says Megan Fillman, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. “We are able to order, determine what kind of anesthetic that patient’s getting … if the patient is even appropriate to receive anesthesia that day. We are the anesthesia specialists in the hospital and therefore that gives us control over our own specialty.”

Having worked several years as a Registered Nurse in the ER and in medical, surgical and trauma ICU, Megan became a CRNA so that she could devote all her time and attention to one patient at a time. Her time as a NAP student she said was “the most stressful and hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was also rewarding and I enjoyed it.” Thankful to her husband and family who supported her and helped with childcare for their two daughters, she says, “I am here today because of them.”

Megan devotes a good portion of her time outside the hospital advocating for the best interest of the patient as well as for hospitals in rural areas. A former Ohio State Association of Nurse Anesthetists Board of Directors member, she received that organization’s CRNA of the Year Award for her efforts on behalf of smaller hospitals.

Since graduating, Megan still remains close with her Lourdes cohort. “We try to get together once a year to reconnect. When you spend that much time with a group of people, they become family members.”

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