Gloria Spires, CRNA, BS
As a certified nurse anesthetist for more than 30 years, Gloria Spires, CRNA, BS, believes that â€œexcellence isnâ€™t just an accident, itâ€™s a habit.
Nurse anesthetists strive for perfection and thatâ€™s why you will always find them at their peak; itâ€™s no accident that they have achieved this level of nursing and are successful at their jobs.â€
, who practices at the The Surgery Center at Southwoods in Boardman, Ohio, emphasized that nurse anesthetist success is the result of hard work and determination. â€œWhen I was going to school fulltime at St. Elizabeth Hospital School for Nurse Anesthetists
in Youngstown, Ohio, I also worked on the weekends as an RN in recovery,â€ Spires said. â€œI liked it that way because I was driven and focused.â€Â Â Â Â
â€œToday, however, the amount of training and education to become a nurse anesthetist is rigorous for some young people, as the field now requires a masterâ€™s degree,â€ she
By 2025, nurse anesthetists may be required to have a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) as an entry credential, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
â€œAlthough itâ€™s a â€˜hard row to hoeâ€™ to become a nurse anesthetist, itâ€™s a rewarding profession,â€ Spires said, speaking from experience.
As one of only 68 students in her high school graduating class from a small town in Ohio, Spires had her sights set on becoming an anesthesiologist.
However, due to her
familyâ€™s financial situation, college and medical school were not an option at the time for this African-American, honor society student.
â€œFortunately, I had an amazing guidance counselor, who knew my career interest,â€ Spires said. â€œAfter researching the profession, he found that there were nurses doing the same thing as physicians.
Armed with the critical-thinking and decision-making skills necessary to be a nurse anesthetist, Spires worked briefly at St. Elizabethâ€™s but spent much of her early career working for Anesthesia Associates in Youngstown.
Because of her
love of outpatient anesthesia, Spires
was asked by her
employer to help open and then run Beeghly Medical Park, a same-day surgery center in the early 1980s and was asked again in 1996 to do the same for The Surgery Center at Southwoods.
â€œSeeing patients who smile and are happy when they wake up is what I enjoy most about my job,â€ she
said. â€œPatients are always nervous prior to surgery and my job is to bond with them, gain their confidence and assure them that I am going to wake them up afterwards, all within the 30 seconds before they go under.
In addition to her
, together with another CRNA, has operated her
own business, CS Anesthesia, since 2001, that contracts with ophthalmic practices, and has lectured for 10 years across the country for a pharmaceutical company.
She has been active for many years in the Ohio State Association of Nurse Anesthetists, serving as president from 1997 to 1998, and was also the director of Region 6 for the AANA between 2004 and 2006.
entrepreneurial and leadership success to her
â€œworker bee" style, as she
is not afraid of getting her
hands dirty to get a job done, and the positive influence of African-American leaders in her
Even though less than three percent of current nurse anesthetists are African-American, Spires
is modest when it comes to acknowledging that she
is somewhat of a pioneer in the field.
â€œColor has never been a problem for me, even in my era of training.
I just feel like I stood on the shoulders of those, like Goldie Brangman, CRNA-ret, who went before me and blazed the way.â€ Brangman, who was a personal friend of Spires, was the first African-American president of the AANA from 1973 to 1974 and was the director of the Harlem Hospital School of Nurse Anesthesia in Harlem, NY.
Content with her
work and looking forward to retirement and traveling, Spires
only has one regret regarding her
professional career. â€œI should have gotten my masterâ€™s degree,â€ she
said. â€œThis lack of credential sometimes holds me back.