Fred Reed, III: Sage Advice for Young People of Color Pursuing a Career in Nurse Anesthesiology

Celebrating Black History Month 2024

My name is Fred Reed, III, DNP, MBA(c), CRNA, APRN. I was inspired to go into nurse anesthesiology after being introduced to a CRNA at Louisiana State University – E.A. Conway Medical Center during the “A-HEC of a Summer” Program* in 2004. I was 13 years old. Rosalind Loyd-Chisley, the medical center’s head surgery nurse, introduced me to the CRNA, and nine years later I began my nursing career in the ICU at the same prestigious facility. I was on my way to becoming a CRNA myself.

The most rewarding aspect of my career in nurse anesthesiology is being entrusted to provide anesthesia care to all types of patients, especially the pediatric patient population. The most challenging aspect of being a Black male CRNA has been the need for more diversity, equity, and inclusion in our profession. I consider it an honor and privilege to be among the 12 percent of CRNAs of color—including the 3 percent who are African American—who represent our illustrious profession. I pray that my contributions will empower more registered nurses who look like me to pursue professional trajectories in nurse anesthesiology.

I would encourage any young person of color who is pursuing a career as a CRNA to stay focused and never allow anyone or any obstacle to deter them from achieving their aspirations. Such challenges serve to fortify a person against failure, build one’s character, and add a more profound purpose to one’s story. I would also remind those who are just entering the profession that mentors are important and to remain open to learning something new every day.

I have been a CRNA for six years now, having received my Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) in Nurse Anesthesiology from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, in 2018.  Currently I am the CEO/president of Vigilant Anesthesia Services, LLC, and I practice anesthesia independently as a locum tenens contractor for an ambulatory surgery center in a rural community, serving as a valued member of the patient care team.

*Learn more about the AHEC initiative at

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