Clinical Instructor of the Year

Jul. 16, 2013

Clinical Instructor of the Year

ST. LOUIS, July 16, 2013 – Michael Burns works full-time as chief certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) at Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla, Mo. In this position, he oversees all nurse anesthetists at the hospital, who provide anesthesia to patients undergoing a variety of medical procedures.

Yet, even with that demanding job, he drives close to 100 miles a few times per week to teach classes in the Nurse Anesthesia department in Webster University's  College of Arts & Sciences .  His students say he has been instrumental in getting them placed into clinical rotations at the Phelps County medical center.

This dedication is one of the many reasons that he is being presented the Clinical Instructor of the Year award from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. The organization represents more than 45,000 professionals.

“He goes out of his way to help us learn,” said Vanessa Voudrie, a CRNA in Springfield, Illinois. Voudrie graduated from Webster University in March 2013 and was one of the students who nominated Burns for the award. “He was instrumental in getting us down to Rolla for the rotation. That was the most beneficial part of my education. I learned so much from him.”

Jill Stulce, director and assistant professor of nurse anesthesia at Webster, agreed that Burns has been an important part in the development of the program.

“Michael is one of those individuals who leads by example,” said Stulce. “There is not one student in the program who doesn't wish to emulate his abilities, knowledge and confidence. He motivates and inspires all who work with him. They all have such a reverence for him, which serves the program in such a way that all the students are striving to be their best.”

The Clinical Instructor of the Year Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the teaching of nurse anesthesia students in the clinical area.

In a statement given to the AANA, Burns was modest about his impact on students.

The students have provided many learning opportunities for me over the years and I am grateful for their rotation at Phelps County Regional Medical Center,” he said. “This award truly should be awarded to the entire medical center, but especially the Anesthesia Department. All members of our department–both anesthesia providers and non-anesthesia providers–promote a positive, one-of-a-kind learning environment for our students.”

The award will be presented in August 2013 during the opening ceremonies of the national meeting of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.