Nurse takes on a Career in Anesthesia to Combat Limited Access to Health Care

Nurse takes on a Career in Anesthesia to Combat Limited Access to Health Care

Anthony Morrow shares his journey towards a career in anesthesia, driven by a personal experience that highlighted the critical need for accessible health care.


Anthony Morrow, Duke School of Nursing DNP Nurse Anesthesia Program student, decided to pursue nursing after his parents simultaneously suffered from respiratory failure from the flu. Morrow said at their bedside he was intrigued by the ICU nurse’s knowledge and compassion and empowered by the poise and expertise that the advanced practice nurse anesthetists exuded while caring for his loved ones.

The variety of clinical sites, hands on simulation, and dedication to scholarship made the school ideal for Morrow. “As an ICU nurse, I only had the opportunity to work for one hospital system. In CRNA school, it was important for me to learn how to provide anesthesia in a variety of settings from multiple hospital systems,” Morrow said.

“Additionally, I was interested in a program that provided a safe training environment through hands on simulation prior to clinical integration and prepared me for quality improvement scholarship by obtaining my Doctor of Nursing Practice.”

He mentions so far, the “Duke experience,” has been fantastic. “From being an ABSN student to now participating in the CRNA program, I have been introduced to and been presented with more resources than I could have ever imagined,” Morrow said. “I have had the opportunity to learn from top scholars in my field of interest and connect with colleagues from a variety of clinical settings.”

Morrow said that, growing up in a small town in North Carolina, he has experienced firsthand the effects of health inequity and limited access to care. “In fact, CRNAs played crucial roles in the care of my parents, providing them access to anesthesia services they otherwise would not have been able to receive.”

As a future nurse anesthetist, Morrow wants to continue advocating for the profession in an attempt to decrease the facilities with critical anesthesia shortages to provide future patients with timely and competent care. “Duke has prepared me for this role by providing CRNA students with an abundance of clinical opportunities, pairing us with local, state, and federal advocacy groups, and ultimately promoting holistic patient-centered care with a focus on evidence-based practice.”

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