AUSTIN, TX—When you are a child, you will likely have big aspirations regarding your ‘dream job.’ Astronauts, scientists, professional athletes—even superheroes —may be terms often heard. A recently published book is shining a new light on a different type of hero to encourage younger generations to consider a career in nursing.
Stephanie Peters-Monarch is that different kind of hero. As a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), Peters-Monarch knows the life-saving practices of critical care workers first-hand as she delivered anesthesia care to Texas patients during the COVID-19 pandemic alongside her fellow members of the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TxANA).
Both overwhelmed and inspired by her and her colleagues’ work “during the pandemic, Peters-Monarch found herself wanting to shed a positive light on nursing careers when the idea to publish a children’s book came to mind.
“I felt an overall gloom and doom of the profession of nursing and healthcare in general,” Peters-Monarch said. “Many colleagues felt this as we sat home watching the news before returning to the frontlines. I said, ‘no young person will run to the profession of nursing as a career choice.’ Because of this, I wanted to do something positive for a profession near and dear to my heart.”
At that point, Peters-Monarch began researching and journaling the tasks and steps to put together a children’s book.
“I wanted to educate and expose younger children to the different types of nursing career choices,” Peters-Monarch said. Her exposure to nursing care as a young adult led her to pursue a career as a CRNA.
“I grew up in Bogalusa, Louisiana, a rural paper mill town in Washington Parish,” Peters-Monarch said. “I did well in science classes, so my father encouraged me to study nursing over education. I am my parents’ eldest child and naturally had a caregiver spirit. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, watching her care for her aging parents. After over 25 years in nursing, I truly feel it was my calling to become a nurse.”
Peters-Monarch noted that time spent in the operating room ultimately led her to attend a nurse anesthesia program and become a CRNA.
Peters-Monarch first published “Be A Nurse Like Me” in January 2021, excited to contribute to the profession she loves. The book is dedicated to Peters-Monarch’s sister, who died of COVID-19 in March 2020.
“I felt extremely proud as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) to propel the nursing profession in a positive light,” Peters-Monarch said. “The profession of nurse anesthesia has a bright future, and I am eager to see what is in store for us.”
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Advancing patient safety and the profession of nurse anesthesia, the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TxANA) was founded on Aug. 9, 1974. Its goals include facilitating cooperation between nurse anesthetists and the healthcare profession, hospitals, providers, and other agencies interested in anesthesia. The membership is limited to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Nurse Anesthesia Students who are members of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).
Nurses were the first professional group to specialize in and provide anesthesia services in the United States in the 1880s. Today, over 59,000 CRNAs practicing throughout the United States, of which more than 5,000 are located in Texas. CRNAs are advanced practice nurses registered by the Texas Board of Nursing (BON). CRNAs must hold a current state license as a registered nurse, graduate from an approved educational program, complete the certification examination and comply with continuing education requirements for recertification. Learn more at www.txana.org.