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Rieker Named National Program Director of Year

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) has named Michael Rieker, DNP, CRNA, FAAN, director of the nurse anesthesia program, the recipient of its Program Director of the Year Award.

Michael Rieker, DNP, CRNA, FAANRieker was chosen from among directors of 115 programs across the nation. He received the award at the AANA’s Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress held in September 2016 in Washington, D.C. The honor recognizes Rieker’s contribution to the education of student nurse anesthetists and commitment to the advancement of educational standards that further the science of nurse anesthesia and patient care.

“Wake Forest produces leaders in health care, and to do so, the faculty must also be leaders first,” Rieker said. “To be acknowledged for leadership and my contributions to nurse anesthesia education is an immense honor, particularly because I do not think of what I do as a job. It is what I truly love doing.”

During Rieker’s 11 years as director, the program’s size has expanded by 25 percent, faculty and staff size has more than doubled, and the five-year average first-time pass rate on the certification exam is greater than 95 percent.

The curriculum also has been converted to an electronic format and delivered through a learning management system that includes PowerPoint presentations, external links, course videos, class Wiki activities, discussion boards and other resources. Daily clinical evaluations and graduate surveys are in a web-based system, and all student exams are electronic.

A group photo following the student luncheon during the AANA Annual Congress

A group photo following the student luncheon during the AANA Annual Congress

Whitney Benfield ’16 with Keith Torgersen ’92

Whitney Benfield ’16 with Keith Torgersen ’92, chair of the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, during the AANA’s Nurse Anesthesia Annual Congress in September

CRNA Advisory Board