Published August 27, 2021
The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) has awarded Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) Cheryl A. Spulecki of the University at Buffalo School of Nursing the designation of Fellow of the AANA (FAANA) – a recognized hallmark of leadership and professionalism in the profession and science of nurse anesthesiology.
Spulecki, an AANA member since 1999, earned this distinguished designation by demonstrating an exceptional level of expertise, service and commitment to transforming the nurse anesthesia profession.
She received her Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015, Master of Science from the University at Buffalo in 1999, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Niagara University in 1989.
As the current director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program at the University at Buffalo, Spulecki has been a part of the UB School of Nursing family since 2006, starting as clinical instructor and clinical coordinator and advancing to assistant clinical professor. Her role at UB School of Nursing includes didactic lectures in professional practice, anesthesia crisis resource management and principles of anesthesia. She also serves as faculty and advisor for the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) projects for both nurse anesthesia BS to DNP and MS to DNP students.
Spulecki’s clinical experience includes 15 years at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (1998-2013) and as clinical coordinator for this site from 2002-2009. She currently maintains a clinical practice at Southtowns Surgery Center, Erie County Medical Center and Eye Health Associates.
In 2020, Spulecki received the New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NYSANA) Kathleen O'Donnell Excellence in Leadership award for achievements in advancing the profession of nurse anesthesia during her tenure as NYSANA's president from 2017-2018, board advisor of the Government Relations Committee, federal political director/public relations, and current professional practice chair.
Spulecki is also the recipient of the AANA Board of Directors Strategic Reserve Fund grant supporting NYSANA and the Patricia H. Garman Behavioral Health Nursing Endowment. Her research in the area of opioid respiratory depression and monitoring innovation has garnered many media and peer-reviewed presentations and publications, both at the state and national level.
Spulecki is currently a member of the NYS Board of Nursing’s the professional practice disciplinary committee, the Professional Nurses Association of WNY, AANA, NYSANA and Sigma Theta Tau.
“We recognize Cheryl a leader who has demonstrated a depth of expertise that is critical to shaping the future of anesthesia care,” said Lorraine Jordan, PhD, CRNA, CAE, FAAN, Chief Advocacy Officer of AANA and CEO of the AANA Foundation. “Earning this distinction signifies a commitment of excellence and dedication to making impactful changes for our profession.”
Sixty-five individuals have received this honor and joined the inaugural class of AANA Fellows.
To be awarded the FAANA distinction, applicants must be credentialed as a CRNA for a minimum of 10 consecutive years; be an AANA member for at least 10 years; have a minimum of 10 years of full-time professional experience as a practitioner of anesthesiology or educator/program director, facility leader or business leader; have a record of attending AANA conferences; demonstrate outstanding achievements in nurse anesthesia and leadership that command respect and recognition from other leaders in the profession; and provide evidence of enduring and substantial professional achievement that demonstrates professional and personal growth and use of innovative, creative solutions in at least one of several categories.
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., the AANA is the professional organization for more than 59,4000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States. The AANA advances patient safety and the CRNA profession through excellence in practice and service to members.