Army graduate program names award after Nursing's Jim Reed

June 26, 2024

The U.S. Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing at Baylor University has named an award in honor of James “Jim” R. Reed, DNP, CRNA, an associate clinical professor in the University of Arizona College of Nursing’s DNP-Nurse Anesthesia Program.

“In keeping with the tradition of operational readiness and clinical excellence, the ‘Jim Reed Award for Clinical and Operational Excellence’ is awarded to the student that best exemplifies the critical thinking and adaptability needed for the battlefield nurse anesthetist,” the award announcement said. “This individual represents the core mission of preparing our future anesthesia providers for the battlefields of today and tomorrow.”

Reed, who joined the faculty three years ago and earned his Bachelor of Nursing from the university in 1992, said, “I was completely surprised by the naming of this award, and it is a tremendous honor to have my name attached to it in perpetuity. It is tough to describe how much this honor means to me.

“Given that this is the clinical and operational readiness award, it is even more of an honor to me, as that is where the rubber meets the road for our patients both in hospitals and in deployed settings. It is an honor to be an alumnus of the USAGPAN program and to continue that proud legacy of excellence here in our program at UArizona.”

The USAGPAN started in 1981 and has been training most active-duty Army CRNAs in the specialty of field anesthesia, ensuring that graduates are qualified to carry out their duties. They are often the sole anesthesia provider in combat and field operations.

“Lt. Col. Jim Reed is an Army nurse anesthetist who has exemplified the true meaning of battlefield anesthesia,” Col. Peter J. Attilio, PhD, CRNA, director of the USAGPAN, wrote in a letter announcing the new award. “Reed has been an emphatic proponent of operational readiness, engaging in the education of numerous nurse anesthetists in both military and civilian environments. His personal and professional achievements in both the practice and education of independent battlefield nursing anesthesia are emblematic of the goals of the USAGPAN.”

Reed retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel in 2011 after serving 27 years, 20 of which were on jump status as a paratrooper. He enlisted in the Army after high school and was part of an active-duty special forces unit in Massachusetts. He then served in a National Guard special forces unit while he was an undergraduate at the university. During his career in the Army, Reed completed 14 combat deployments, serving on a special mission unit surgical team that supported elite special operations troops.

“Jim Reed is the perfect person to name this award for,” said Brian Ahn, PhD, dean of the College of Nursing. “His dedication to country, service, the college and his students exemplifies not only the award but also the mission of educating students. We are extremely proud of him and his work.”

“It has been very special to come home to do this important work at the College of Nursing,” said Reed, a native of Tucson. “I have a fantastic leadership team in Kristie Hoch, DNP, CRNA, and Chris Herring, DNP, CRNA, who have mentored and allowed me to flourish as a faculty member in the program. As they are both veterans, they understand the regimented style I have and the importance of academic rigor. Dr. Hoch is a tireless advocate for our program, our faculty and our profession.”