Recent Retirees: Louise Hershkowitz

This month, Louise Hershkowitz shared her retirement story with The Monitor. If you have retired recently and want to share your story, or how you’re still engaged in VANA, please reach out to Katie Jesaitis at kjesaitis@martinwaymire.com.

When I retired from the clinical practice of nurse anesthesia at the end of 2016, I was excited but also had some concerns. I decided on my own to leave “while they are still applauding” (in the words of a retinal surgeon who had retired just month before I did), but I didn’t know what the future might look like. Although I have always been very involved with my family (my husband who retired earlier than I did, and kids and grandkids), much of my life was centered around being a CRNA.

In addition to 37 years of clinical practice, including providing clinical instruction to generations of SRNAs, I have always been very involved in our professional associations, serving on the Board of Directors of VANA, AANA and the AANA Foundation, including decades of Board and Committee work. I also was appointed by the Governor of Virginia to the Virginia Board of Nursing (BON) in 2013 and again in 2017, becoming the first (and as yet, only) CRNA on the Board. One of the benefits of my retirement is that it gave me more time to devote to my BON service and I served as BON President for two terms as well as Chairing the Committee of the Joint Boards of Nursing and Medicine and serving on the Board of Health Professions. I also had the time to serve with the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps, proving more than 850 vaccinations during COVID. Completing my terms of service in 2021, I applied to become a part-time employee of the BON and am currently serving both as a Probable Cause Reviewer and as an Agency Subordinate – holding Informal Fact-Finding Conferences for disciplinary cases and making recommendations to the Board. Not only does this enable me to use skills in Nursing Regulation that I acquired during my BON service, but it also allows me to continue to participate with the outstanding people at the BON (both members and staff) in helping to assure public safety.

I love being a CRNA. I loved my clinical practice. I loved being a Clinical Instructor (most of the time!). I value the work and relationships I developed through our professional associations. And I value my experiences as the first CRNA to serve on the Virginia Board of Nursing and the opportunity to continue to serve.

And now I also have more time for family, travel, knitting and cooking and generally enjoying life!

News, Spring 2023 VANA Newsletter