Alumna’s article wins ASPAN award

By Laura Gasque

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing alumna Kesha Thurston, DNP, MSHQS, CRNA (BSN 1998, MNA 2006, DNP 2019), has received the 2024 Mary Hanna Memorial Journalism Award from the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses. The award recognizes researchers whose articles show journalistic style, originality, clarity of expression, relevance of content and overall contribution to nursing knowledge.

The article “A Systematic Review of Race, Sex, and Socioeconomic Status Differences in Postoperative Pain and Pain Management,” was published in the Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing and received first place for this year’s award. Among the co-authors are UAB School of Nursing Assistant Professor Bryan Wilbanks, PhD, DNP, CRNA, FAAN, FAANA (DNP 2012, PhD 2016), and Associate Professor and PhD Program Director Edwin Aroke, PhD, CRNA, FAANA, FAAN.

“I was shocked, excited and humbled. This would not have been possible without Drs. Edwin Aroke and Bryan Wilbanks who mentored me, challenged me, and refused to let me give up on this article,” Thurston said. “This recognition underscores the importance of our research in shedding light on disparities in postoperative pain management. It is my hope that our findings will not only contribute to advancing nursing knowledge but also inspire action toward more equitable and effective pain management practices in perioperative care."

Thurston has been a certified registered nurse anesthetist for more than 15 years and currently serves as the CRNA manager at UAB Highlands as well as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the School.

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