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Donald BellIt is hard to imagine a world without anesthesia. It is crucial for everything from surgery to pain management. Nurse anesthetists are often the main providers of anesthesia care.

Now, a UT nurse anesthetist will be instrumental in guiding the future of nursing and advanced practice nursing care across the state.

Donald Bell, a clinical associate professor of nursing and certified registered nurse anesthetist, has been elected chairman of the Tennessee Board of Nursing (BON).

Bell is the program administrator and coordinator of UT and UT Medical Center’s Nurse Anesthesia Concentration. He is the first certified registered nurse anesthetist to chair the state organization and has been an advanced practice nurse representative on the BON for the past two years.

Bell has served as president, district director and on multiple committees of the Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists. He has also served on various committees of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Bell has been a nurse anesthetist for more than twenty-four years. He received his master’s degree in nurse anesthesia from the Gooding Institute of Nurse Anesthesia, Bay Medical Center, in Panama City, Florida; his master’s degree in health education from UT; and a master’s degree in nursing and a doctor of nursing practice degree from UT Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

“The Tennessee Board of Nursing plays a crucial role in the assurance of safe and competent delivery of nursing care, protection of the public and assuring that there is an adequate supply of qualified nurses to meet Tennessee’s healthcare needs,” said Victoria Niederhauser, dean of the College of Nursing. “Dr. Bell will represent the voice of Tennessee nurses by advocating for our profession and supporting rules, regulations and legislation that promotes health and supports access to health care for the people of Tennessee.”

Certified registered nurse anesthetists are advanced practice registered nurses who specialize in anesthesia care and who safely administer more than thirty-three million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States.

C O N T A C T :

Whitney Heins (865-974-5460,

Donald Bell (865-305-7762,