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Mason McDowell

Mason McDowell

Assistant Professor

College of Health and Human Sciences

School of Nursing

Contact Information



I have been an RN for 25 years and a nurse anesthetist for 21 years. I currently work full time as a CRNA for Advent Health Hendersonville and concurrently maintain a faculty appointment with the Western Carolina University nurse anesthesia program. Previously I served for 1 1/2yrs as a solo anesthesia provider and educator at Béré Adventist Hospital in Chad, Africa covering all surgical specialties 24/7 including complex obstetrics. I also served as the hospital “pediatrician” (though I am a nurse anesthetist), caring for pediatric patients suffering from maladies such as malaria, typhoid, giardia, pneumonia, hepatitis, and HIV. Prior to that I have had several academic and clinical appointments. I am honest, hard working and committed to providing safe patient care in areas of need. Please see more details below.<br> I serve as the Assistant Director of the Western Carolina University (WCU) Nurse Anesthesia Program, in Asheville, North Carolina. I have been an Assistant Professor at WCU since 2008 and served as the clinical education coordinator for nurse anesthesia prior to accepting this current academic appointment. I served as the Assistant Director for the WCU nurse anesthesia program from 2009 to 20012, Interim Director 2012-2013, then again as Assistant Director from 2013-2014. Previously, I served as a clinical preceptor at Mission Hospitals in Asheville, NC and the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. In these roles I assisted in the clinical education of graduate anesthesia students from Duke University and the UNC Charlotte Graduate Nurse Anesthesia Program.<br> In addition to my academic appointment and ongoing clinical practice, I earned my Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) degree from Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, TX. My area of research focus was perioperative patient management; specifically studying cardiac risk assessment and evaluation of coronary revascularization vs. medical management of patients with cardiovascular disease undergoing non-cardiac surgery. My degree was conferred Aug 2012. <br>In 2000, I received my MSNA from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia. Prior to completing my graduate studies, I received my BSN from the University of Florida and subsequently served four years as an RN in the United States Navy. My active duty assignments provided me with varied experiences in Newport Rhode Island, San Diego California, and Portsmouth, Virginia.<br> Professional memberships have included the Society for Perioperative Assessment and Quality Improvement (SPAQI), International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), Health Volunteers Overseas, Sigma Theta Tau (Eta Psi), North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NCANA), and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). My service activities have included Co-Chairman of the NCANA nominating committee, Co-Chair NCANA Education and Research Committee, NCANA Peer Assistance and Wellness Committee, WCU Graduate Student Affairs Committee, WCU Convocation Planning Committee, WCU Graduate Curriculum Committee, WCU SON Research Day Planning Committee, WCU Alumni Committee, the Admission Committee for WCU’s Nurse Anesthesia Program.<br> Scholarly accomplishments over the past several years include being twice awarded a $15,000 scholarship for doctoral studies; I was an invited lecturer at the AANA national meeting in San Francisco, CA in Aug 2012. I 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; I have submitted poster presentations (state and national meetings) as a member of student’s research/project committee. In Jan 2012 I published a chapter as a contributing author to the 5th edition of the textbook, Nurse Anesthesia (Hepatobiliary and Gastrointestinal Disorders and Anesthesia) which was published February 2013. Currently I live in Swannanoa, NC with my wife and two daughters.


  • MSN, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BSN, University of Florida

Teaching Interests

Anesthesia Global Outreach, Perioperative Management of patients with cardiovascular disease undergoing non-cardiac surgery

Research Interests

International outreach, Perioperative assessment and management

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