Mason McDowell, DNAP, CRNA
School of Nursing
Assistant Director, Nurse Anesthesia Program
Office Location: Biltmore Park, Office 308
Area of Expertise: Perioperative evaluation and management
Area of Research Interest: Perioperative Management, Quality Improvement, Patient Safety
Mason McDowell is the Interim Director of the Western Carolina University (WCU) Nurse Anesthesia Program, in Candler, North Carolina. He has been an Assistant Professor at WCU since 2008 and served as the clinical education coordinator for nurse anesthesia prior to accepting his current academic appointment. Professor McDowell served as the Assistant Director for the WCU nurse anesthesia program from 2009 to 2012. Previously, Professor McDowell served as a clinical preceptor at Mission Hospitals in Asheville, NC and the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. In these roles he assisted in the clinical education of graduate anesthesia students from Duke University and the UNC Charlotte Graduate Nurse Anesthesia Program.
Dr. McDowell earned his Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) from Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, TX. His area of research focus is perioperative patient management; specifically studying cardiac risk assessment and evaluation of coronary revascularization vs. medical management of patients with cardiac disease undergoing non-cardiac surgery. His degree was conferred August 2012.
In 2000, Professor McDowell received his MSNA from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia. Prior to completing his graduate studies, he received his BSN from the University of Florida and subsequently served four years as an RN in the United States Navy. His active duty assignments provided him with varied experiences in Newport Rhode Island, San Diego California, and Portsmouth, Virginia.
Professional memberships include the Society for Perioperative Assessment and Quality Improvement (SPAQI), International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), Sigma Theta Tau (Eta Psi), North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NCANA), and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). Professor McDowell’s service activities include Co-Chairman of the NCANA Education and Research Committee, NCANA Peer Assistance and Wellness Committee, Chairman of the WCU Graduate Student Affairs Committee, WCU School of Nursing Research Day Planning Committee, Convocation Planning Committee, and the Admission Committee for WCU's Nurse Anesthesia Program.
Scholarly accomplishments over the past several years include being twice awarded a $15,000 scholarship for doctoral studies; Dr. McDowell was also an invited lecturer at the AANA national meeting in San Francisco, CA in August, 2012. McDowell presented a peer-reviewed abstract and lecture at the World Congress for Nurse Anesthetists in Ljubljana, Slovenia in May 2012. Other past invitations to lecture include NCANA District 1&2 meetings in Raleigh, NC and District 3&4 Meetings in Charlotte, NC and invited lecturer for the NCANA Annual State Meeting in Asheville, NC and Wilmington, NC; McDowell has submitted poster presentations (state and national meetings) as member of students' research/project committee. In January 2012 Dr. McDowell submitted a chapter as a contributing author to the 5th edition of the textbook, Nurse Anesthesia (Hepatobiliary and Gastrointestinal Disorders and Anesthesia). Dr. McDowell lives in Asheville, NC, is married and the father of two daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys bicycling, playing piano and gardening. He also maintains his clinical anesthesia practice with Asheville Anesthesia Associates at Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.