South College’s nurse anesthesia founding director earns induction as national fellow

September 12, 2022

Lois Stewart, the founding director of South College’s nurse anesthesia program, has been inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (FAANA).

Lois Stewart, PhD, CRNA
South College

The honor for Stewart, who is now the director of the new Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Nurse Anesthesia program at South College, came at the recent Annual Congress of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) in Chicago. The national organization represents nearly 59,000 of the country’s Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student nurse anesthetists. Stewart is a member of the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA).

A registered nurse for 35 years and CRNA for 18 years, Stewart was part of the second class of FAANAs, a select group of anesthesia professionals who are recognized as accomplished leaders and outstanding practitioners, educators, researchers, and advocates for the profession.

“It means that in my own small way I have succeeded at contributing to a fantastic profession that has given me so very much fulfillment and opportunity,” Stewart said. “And in a very meaningful way, it indicates that my years of effort to honor the example of my mentors and role models have borne fruit and been recognized.”

Stewart now works with the South College inaugural cohort of 40 nurse anesthesia residents for a three-year program that consists of distance education along with intermittent and mandatory on-campus intensive sessions in Knoxville.

“We commend Lois on this distinctive and well-earned honor as a national fellow,” South College Chancellor Steve South said. “She is an excellent example of the superb quality of our faculty and staff and a role model for all students in the Nurse Anesthesia program at South College. Her longtime efforts in the classroom and real world experience allow Lois to prepare our students for the next step in their nursing careers.”

Stewart also provides anesthesia care to patients in outpatient, office, and ambulatory surgery facilities for Priority Anesthesia, PLLC, an independent-practice CRNA staffing company serving the Knoxville area.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) in 1987 at Radford University in Radford, Virginia; a Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA) in 2004 from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond; and a PhD in Nurse Anesthesia in 2017 from VCU.

About South College

South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award degrees at the doctorate, educational specialist, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate levels, as well as certificates. Questions about the accreditation of South College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

About the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists (TANA)

TANA is the professional organization representing more than 2,400 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student nurse anesthetists who provide more than 1.5 million anesthetics annually to patients across Tennessee. As anesthesia experts, CRNAs deliver high-quality anesthesia care for every type of procedure and in every type of healthcare facility that requires anesthesia services. On behalf of its members and the patients they serve, TANA strives to protect and advance nurse anesthesia practice through advocacy and public education and to ensure patient access to safe cost-effective anesthesia care, especially in rural and other medically underserved areas of Tennessee. TANA is headquartered in Nashville.