LMU Nurse Anesthesia Students Win State Competition

LMU Nurse Anesthesia Students Win

Three students in the Lincoln Memorial University Caylor School of Nursing (LMU-CSON) Nurse Anesthesia program won first place for their poster abstract. The research and poster were presented at the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA) annual conference.


Star Bresee, Katie Dunn, and Abby Winters presented their abstract titled, “Fentanyl Versus Dexmedetomidine in Neuraxial for the Parturient.” The research examined pain relief administered to patients during labor. Dr. Crystal Hunnicutt, director of the LMU-CSON Nurse Anesthesia concentration, served as mentor for the project. The objective stated that the “purpose of this question is to assess the literature to determine if the addition of dexmedetomidine vs fentanyl with a local anesthetic during neuraxial anesthesia will provide improved patient outcomes and promote less hemodynamic instability.” Neuraxial anesthesia is administered around the central nervous system.


The students presented the abstract, which determined, “Administering less opioids to a patient during neuraxial anesthesia may have improved patient outcomes and promote less hemodynamic instability.” Hemodynamic instability, or unstable blood pressure, includes hypotension (low blood pressure). The abstract stated that hypotension, “which is closely related to maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, is the most common side-effect of spinal anesthesia.”


The results of their research concluded that “administering fewer opioids to a patient during neuraxial anesthesia may have improved patient outcomes and pose less hemodynamic instability.”


They determined that the sedative dexmedetomidine is recommended for laboring patients. Its use “allows for an effective analgesic without increasing the … side effects associated with opioid use.” The students added that “Avoiding opioids allows for the parturient [patient in labor] to remain awake and participate in the birth of her baby whilst negating the risks of hypotension, over sedation and nausea/vomiting.”


“I am proud of my students,” said Hunnicutt. “They competed against five other Tennessee anesthesia schools.” 


The Nurse Anesthesia concentration is moving to a doctoral level beginning in January 2022. Applications are still being accepted for the inaugural cohort. For more information on this or any other nursing program, visit nursing.lmunet.edu.


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at [email protected].

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