MTSA, AANA Present First Outstanding Achievement Award for ASPM Fellowship

Daniel Nash, DNAP, CRNA, is the first recipient of the Acute Surgical Pain Management (ASPM) Fellowship “Outstanding Achievement Award,” presented at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia’s most recent Commencement ceremony.

Nash (pictured above) was a member of the ASPM Fellowship’s first cohort and completed the certificate program in 2018, along with 12 other CRNAs.

“Since entering the Fellowship in 2017, Dan has continued to distinguish himself based on his achievements,” said Bill Johnson, DNAP, CRNA, Director of the Fellowship, during the award presentation. “He has developed and implemented a robust regional block rotation at SSM Health Bone & Joint Hospital at St. Anthony in Oklahoma City for our Fellowship. He has also developed a technology that provides pulsatile images on cadavers for a more realistic educational experience.”

According to Johnson, one Fellow each year is selected by MTSA and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) to receive the Outstanding Achievement Award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize. The award is based on a Fellow’s ability to:

  • contribute to the clinical expertise and scholarship in acute pain management;
  • advance the scope of nurse anesthesia practice;
  • develop innovative acute surgical pain management approaches that contribute to safe and effective patient care;
  • inspire other nurse anesthesia providers in the profession;
  • interact collegially with all health care providers to positively impact the image of nurse anesthesia; and
  • participate in community affairs, legislation and organizations that affect and advance nurse anesthesia practice.

“I’d like to thank the AANA and MTSA for awarding me the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship Outstanding Achievement Award,” Nash said. “My fellow nominees are outstanding CRNAs, and to be chosen from amongst them is very humbling.”

Nash added that the Fellowship is “an extremely important program. It’s elevating CRNA practice to a level that we have not seen before. It is bringing a much-needed advanced learning opportunity to the field.”

“I’ve personally been a CRNA for over 25 years, I’ve taught regional anesthesia through my company Maverick for over 10 years, and I had a very solid knowledge base from my experience. But this Fellowship, through its extremely comprehensive and in-depth curriculum, taught me much more than I knew before. [MTSA has] done a great job of putting together instructors from all over the world who teach the Fellows and give us experience that I think we probably can’t gain just through working alone,” Nash said.

“The hard work and dedication of Dr. Bill Johnson is amazing, and I’d like to thank him personally for all he does,” Nash added. “My practice has advanced quite a bit since I’ve completed the Fellowship. I’ve changed a lot of things in my practice for the betterment of my patients and surgeons I work with. My acute surgical pain management has really blossomed from what I’ve learned. I would highly recommend any CRNA to attend this Fellowship. It’s worth the effort, and I feel it’s worth the money, and I think it will advance the knowledge of CRNAs for many years to come.”

In addition to his role as CRNA at Bone & Joint Hospital and partner at Maverick Medical Education in Oklahoma City, Nash also serves as a clinical mentor for the current and future Fellows at MTSA and has developed a range of didactic content as an adjunct faculty member of the Fellowship.

The 2018 Fellowship class was represented by 13 CRNAs from seven different states who spent one year studying advanced principles of acute pain management, documented over 1,000 regional anesthetic blocks, and devoted a considerable amount of time disseminating this knowledge back to their home facilities, according to Johnson.

About the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship

The ASPM Fellowship consists of a classroom component offered via distance education (didactic education) and a clinical component (proctored hands-on clinical experience offered through one or more clinical sites). Fellows learn innovative techniques including multimodal and interventional therapies to manage acute surgical pain, while developing business management proficiency.

A major focus of the program is the utilization of ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia—also known as a nerve block—which blocks the pain at the point of surgical contact. Instead of an opioid prescription after surgery, this technique allows patients to take non-addictive, over-the-counter medication and remain pain-free.

As the baby boomer generation ages, increasing numbers of patients are undergoing surgery, and CRNAs are responsible for managing these patients’ surgical pain. The Fellowship provides an advanced skill-set to meet this growing patient demand.

Topics of study include:

  • Legal, ethical, and professional issues related to acute surgical pain management
  • Psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural dimensions of acute surgical pain
  • Non-allopathic considerations for acute surgical pain management
  • Physiological aspects of pain
  • Assessment and evaluation of the patient with acute surgical pain
  • Pharmacogenetics, dynamics, and kinetics related to acute surgical pain management
  • Technical interventions for the management of acute pain
  • Foundations of initiating an acute pain service
  • Business fundamentals in acute pain management

This program has been prior approved by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists for 150.00 Class A CE credits; Code Number 1037120; Expiration Date 1/6/2022. AANA designates this program as meeting the criteria for up to 40.00 CE Credits in pharmacology/therapeutics.

The application period for the next Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship cohort is now open until June 30. For more information, visit

About Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia

Founded in 1950, Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) provides graduate-level education and training of nurse anesthetists in a Christian environment born of its Seventh-day Adventist heritage. MTSA is the only independent, fully accredited anesthesia institution of its kind in the nation, instilling excellence through innovative and diverse clinical experience. More than 75% of Middle Tennesseans having surgery entrust their lives to its graduates on a daily basis. A leader in academic, clinical and professional distinction, MTSA is responsive to the needs of its constituents, providing affordable graduate education for students from diverse backgrounds. For more information, visit or call (888) 353-MTSA.

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