2015 ALPS Recipients

David Welker SRNA and Christian Joshua Peñaranda SRNA

2015 ALPS Recipients

David Welker SRNA

David Welker is from Tampa, Fl. He graduated from the University of South Florida’s RN-BSN program in 2012. He has experience working in the emergency room at St. Joseph Hospital (Tampa, FL) and in the Trauma Surgical ICU at Tampa General Hospital. He is currently enrolled in the University of South Florida’s Nurse Anesthesia program and will graduate in December of 2015. He is a U.S. Military veteran and Pat Tillman Foundation Scholar. David believes his military training and nurse anesthesia education will enable him to make a difference in the lives of people most in need of medical care, including veterans with limited access to proper health care. He is extremely interested in taking part in the AVANA ALPS in order to gain a more in-depth knowledge and understanding of the veterans health care system and how he can positively influence the quality of care that veterans deserve.

Christian Joshua Peñaranda SRNA

Christian Joshua Peñaranda is currently a graduate student in the US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing. Mr. Peñaranda graduated cum laude with a BSN in Nursing from the University of Miami in 2006. Before graduating he was awarded the VALOR scholarship (Veterans Affairs Learning Opportunities Residency). The VALOR scholarship allowed Mr. Peñaranda to work and train in a busy Surgical Intensive Care Unit during his summer break. After graduation Mr. Peñaranda was offered a position to work in the SICU at the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center in Miami, FL where he worked until his departure for graduate school in 2013.

He has earned the Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification. Mr. Peñaranda also completed a Critical Care Internship program at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, FL. In his time away from work he has helped organize medical missions and has traveled to Nicaragua, Brazil and Guatemala to provide humanitarian relief.

Previous assignments include Staff Nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center in Miami, FL. He was also cross-trained in MICU, CCU, and Emergency room. Mr. Peñaranda was also an ACLS instructor during his time at the Miami VA.

As a student in the US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing, Mr. Penaranda is actively engaged in a 36-month Doctoral Program in Anesthesia Nursing that admits over 40 Army, Air Force, and Veterans Administration students annually and is currently rated the #1 best program in the country by US News & World Report.

Letter from Christian

The opportunity to attend the 2015 Mid Year Assembly as an ALPS recipient was invaluable. It was an honor and a pleasure to meet and discuss current issues affecting our profession with Mrs. Sherry Swearngin and Mr. Garrett Peterson. They are both exceptional leaders within the nursing anesthesia community. The opportunity to get out of the operating room and experience the politics and hard work involved in sustaining and advancing our profession was humbling. The weekend consisted of various informative lectures ranging from “understanding CRNA policy issues” to “national health policy issues”. Also, various events occurred during the week that allowed for great networking and dialogue to occur amongst SRNAs, CRNAs and leaders within our profession. The Capitol visit to meet with State and Department of Veterans Affairs legislative representatives proved to be an amazing experience. As a nurse with over 7 years in the VA system and a commitment to continue to work as a CRNA within the VA after graduation, I was proud to meet so many dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable VA CRNAs. The AVANA Leadership Project for SRNAs Scholarship has helped me better understand advanced issues affecting our profession on the State and Federal level, as well as to continue to develop my leadership skills. I think the ALPS Scholarship is a wonderful developmental tool for SRNAs, I know it has been for me. I plan on returning next year to Mid Year Assembly to reinforce and build upon all that I learned and experienced this year.

I want to Thank AVANA board of directors and members for this great leadership opportunity.

-Christian Joshua Peñaranda

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