PeriAnesthesia Care Nurses of Arkansas  

About Us

PACNA History

Over a ten month period the Post Anesthesia Care Nurses of Arkansas made great strides toward organizing as a specialty group. On February 7, 1985 four recovery room nurses from the Greater Little Rock area met and made plans to form an association for the Recovery Room Nurses of Arkansas. Those attending the first meeting were JoAnn Brasch, Staff Nurse at Memorial Hospital, North Little Rock; Naomi Bunten, Head Nurse at University of Arkansas Medical Science Campus, Little Rock; Betty Powell, Head, Nurse at St. Vincent Infirmary, Little Rock; and Dorothy Steed, Unit Supervisor at Baptist Medical Center, Little Rock.

Four months lapsed before the group was able to meet again. Marvie Smith, Head Nurse of Arkansas Children’s Hospital of Little Rock, contacted the post anesthesia care units of Central Arkansas to attend the second meeting. Twenty people attended the second meeting held on July 23, 1985, in a class room at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Those present agreed that the purpose of the meeting was to form a state component of the American Society of Post Anesthesia Nurses. Dorothy Steed was elected as the Temporary Chairperson and then appointed Jo Anne Brasch as the Temporary Secretary. Betty Powell introduced Mary Wilson to the group and stated that she would serve as an advisor for organizing the state component.

Using the ASPAN reference manual as the guide, the present meeting could be declared the first official meeting of the group. Dorothy Steed, as Temporary Chairperson, then declared that the object of the meeting was "to form an Arkansas Association of Recovery Room Nurses". The group agreed to follow ASPAN’s lead and change the title from Recovery Room" nurses to "Post Anesthesia Care" nurses. A resolution was then made stating that "It is the sense of this meeting to form the Central Arkansas Post Anesthesia Nurses". It was then voted to accepted that as a name of the organization with CAPAN as the acronym.

In order to review ASPAN’s bylaws and formulate the organization’s bylaws, a Bylaws Committee was appointed: Gregory Backus, Arkansas Children’s Hospital; Melody Darbe, Veteran’s Administration Medical Center; and Charles Rabinette, St Vincent Infirmary volunteered to serve as the Bylaws Committee. Gregory Backus, Arkansas Children’s Hospital; Melody Darbe, Veteran’s Administration Medical Center. And Charles Rabinette, St. Vincent Infirmary volunteered to serve as the Bylaws Committee.

On September 9, 1985, seventeen post anesthesia care nurses met at Baptist Medical Center. Melody Darbe, representing the Bylaws Committee, reported that she had contacted John Hinkley of ASPAN to assist with determining the steps to follow to form a component society. A list of the nurses in the state who were currently members of ASPAN, who could be potential directors when the regions were designated, was obtained.

After agreeing to retain Central Arkansas Post Anesthesia Nurses for central Arkansas, two names were chosen for the component organization: Arkansas Post Anesthesia Care Nurses (APAN) and Post Anesthesia Care Nurses of Arkansas (PACNA). The group unanimously voted to become a component organization by April 20, 1985 at the Firth Annual Convention of ASPAN. Pam Skinner-McMahen and Teresa Kirchner agreed to serve on an ad hoc committee to send a letter to the post anesthesia care units throughout the state to inform them of the organization and nomination of officers.

October 7, 1985, nineteen nurses met at Memorial Hospital. There were nurses present from neighboring Jefferson County and as far as Johnston County. Teresa Kirchner reported that 102 nurses responded to the letter. Representing the Bylaws Committee, Charles Rabinette clarified points from the ASPAN Bylaws regarding the election of officers, directors, and delegates. Dorothy Steed reported that the group could become a component organization by January if officers were elected and bylaws were approved. The group elected officers that night.

The officers elected were: President – Dorothy Steed. President-Elect Carolyn Erstine. Secretary – Linda Pratt. Treasurer – Charles Robinett. The group acknowledged support of the organization in the form of a $250.00 donation from the Arkansas Society of Anesthesiologists. The name Post Anesthesia Care Nurses of Arkansas was adopted as the official name of the organization.

The next meeting was held on November 4, 1985 at St. Vincent Infirmary. During that meeting the bylaws were read and accepted and the standing committees were formed. Those who agreed to serve in the committees were: (1) Nominating Committee – JoAnne Brasch, Mary Goshen, Jull Averitt, and Doris Wingo: (2) Finance Committee – Charles Robinett, Pam Skinner-McMahen, and Donna Stephens; (3) Membership/Public Relations Committee – Teresa Kirchner, Connie Wilson, Carol Ann Stephens and Vickie Juneau; (4) Education Committee – Pam Jackson, Carolyn Erstine, Lyndia Sityar, Naomi Bunten, and Tammy Ross; (5) Bylaws Committee (the original members) – Melody Darbe, Charles Robinett and Gregory Bakcus.

On December 2, 1985, the Post Anesthesia Care Nurses of Arkansas met at the Veterans’ Administration Medical Center. During the meeting, a check for $100.00 from Pine Bluff Anesthesia Associates was presented to PACNA. Tentative plans for the annual seminar were approved and it was agreed to call the seminar the "First Annual Seminar for Post Anesthesia Care Nurses of Arkansas" scheduled for August 23, 1986. The Membership/Public Relations Committee submitted a seal, drawn by Connie Wilson, which was approved.

Dorothy Steed and Linda Pratt, President and Secretary, agreed to submit all the required documents to ASPAN after they were prepared by the various committees and/or officers. The Post Anesthesia Care Nurses of Arkansas received their charter at the 5th National ASPAN Conference in Boston on April 1986.

In March 1987 the first Post Anesthesia Nurse Awareness Week was celebrated in Arkansas hospitals. In April 1987, five officers and directors of PACNA attended the 6th National ASPAN Conference in Los Angeles, California.

The second annual PACNA Seminar was held at the Excelsior Hotel on August 22nd, 1987. 1988 Officers elected were: President – Carolyn Erstine; Vice-President – Gregory Backus; Treasurer – Charles Robinett; Secretary – Linda Pratt.

At the 7th National ASPAN Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, Jo Ann Brasch replaced Bobby Vinson as PACNA Director to ASPAN. Jearline Murray became the Alternate Director to ASPAN

The 1988 3rd Annual PACNA Seminar was held at the St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center. Officers elected for 1989 were: President – Bobbie Vinson; ASPAN Director – JoAnne Brasch; Alternate Director – Jearline Murry

One of the 1989 PACNA goals was to organize components in four other sections around Central Arkansas. Two of these components have been formed. Northwest PACNA under the leadership of Cindy Nimmo and Sandra Pannell, Director. On May 6th, a one-day seminar was held in Springdale, Arkansas. Anne Allen, ASPAN President, was a speaker. Northwest PACNA held a one-day seminar in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The 4th Annual Seminar was held at the Baptist Medical Center on August 12, 1989.

Used with Permission:

Source:  American Society of PostAnesthesia Nurses. Fifty Years of Progress in Post Anesthesia Nursing: 1940-1990. Richmond, VA: ASPAN; 1995: 87-89.