Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2022
“Just Go For It” More than a Motto for Filipino American CRNA Kevin Ergina
Filipino American CRNA Kevin Ergina was inspired to pursue a healthcare career by his parents, who immigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s. His father is a general surgeon and his mother a dentist, and it was she who groomed Kevin from a young age to follow in her footsteps. But as Kevin will tell you, it wasn’t his mother’s dental expertise that intrigued him during the many hours he spent observing her work; instead, it was the miraculous drugs she administered to keep her patients comfortable and pain-free. He credits his aunt, an anesthesiologist, with helping to seal the deal by steering him toward a career in nurse anesthesia.
While pursuing his DNAP at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia in Madison, Tenn., Kevin and two close colleagues, Kirstin Broc-Reyes, RN, and Austin Fultz, DNAP, CRNA, fed their entrepreneurial spirit by forming Live Better Solutions, “a necessity risen company specializing in Covid-19 testing, screening, and consulting.” It was one of the first companies in Nashville to offer rapid testing, a critical service during dire times. Explaining how he managed to help start up and run a business while completing his nurse anesthesia program at the same time, Kevin says simply, “It helped being around like-minded individuals who believed we were not going to fail. We were going to get this done.”
Upon graduating and becoming a CRNA in 2021, Kevin went to work at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville while continuing in his role as CEO/CFO of Live Better Solutions. At Vandy he specializes in cardiac anesthesia. He says he finds that being a healthcare business owner has created numerous opportunities for conversations with people interested in learning more about nurse anesthesia. He’s happy to enlighten them!
In route to becoming a CRNA, Kevin says he doesn’t recall facing any hurdles specific to his Filipino background, other than meeting the demands of strict parents with high expectations of their son. “Asian American families are very close-knit, and it’s tremendously beneficial to have that resource when faced with challenges such as anesthesia school,” Kevin says. “Plus, being part of the Asian community in the U.S. really prepared me for life, for getting through my nurse anesthesia program, and becoming a CRNA. We are taught to be respectful and humble, and to stay focused on our goals.”
During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month 2022, Kevin Ergina encourages his fellow AAPI nurses to “Just go for it! You really have to want to become a CRNA. But at the end of the day, being happy in your job and having unlimited opportunities ahead of you makes it all worth it!”