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PANA PAC Challenge Winner Making a Difference

Julia Dixon-Ernst, MSN, CRNA
Julia Dixon-Ernst, MSN, CRNA

Last fall, PANA members had an opportunity to enter a PAC Challenge with each donation made to the campaign. First-place winner Julia Dixon-Ernst, MSN, CRNA, was thrilled to chat with Tidings about her accomplishments and goals as an advocate for both PANA and AANA. Julie currently serves as a trustee on PANA’s Board, and further serves as a State Advocate for Pennsylvania for the AANA Foundation. 

While a nurse anesthesia student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Julie presented at the 2018 AANA Annual Congress. She’s now looking forward to attending her first AANA Mid-Year Assembly in April. 


“Educating lawmakers about what CRNAs do and why we’re important to healthcare is critical to the CRNA profession,” says Julie. “If a CRNA does their job well in the OR, no one hears about it or remembers you,” she pointed out. 

After graduating as a CRNA from the Pitt School of Nursing in 2018, Julie earned an adjunct faculty position and became a clinical coordinator for Pitt. She works full-time on the Trauma Transplant Team at UPMC Presbyterian where she maintains multiple leadership roles, including as chair of #CRNAWeek! Check out the adorable photos below!

UPMC Presbyterian Celebrates Family Day to Kick Off Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Week!


Julie says her role as a Clinical Coordinator at UPMC Presbyterian helps shepherd students from orientation through graduation. Julie told Tidings she enjoys seeing the students all the way through, witnessing the excitement and anticipation of the first days in the OR transforming into competence and confidence at graduation. 

“Seeing the students grow and develop, from starting out to rotating back to us as senior students is just amazing. Being part of that journey and having the opportunity to help them grow into the best CRNAs they can be is so gratifying,” Julie explained. 


Having benefitted from the mentorship, the continued education and the advocacy tools for CRNAs and students in Pennsylvania since joining PANA, Julie looks forward to similarly helping CRNAs and SRNAs in 2024 and beyond.  

“PANA does a great job taking newer members under their wing and helps them really acclimate to their profession,” Julie added. “Receiving that mentorship and support at an early stage is so important,” she said.  

TAGS: Nurse Anesthetists - CRNA Week - AANA Foundation - #CRNAinPA


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