CRNA Week Spotlight: Laura Fraynd

Laura Fraynd, CRNA, always knew she wanted a career in health care. In high school, she had a shadow day in the OR and spent most of her time with the anesthesiologist.

“He seemed to love his job more than anyone else I spoke with,” Fraynd said. “He told me about the CRNAs in the department. The more I learned about nurse anesthesia, the more I knew it was what I wanted to do.”

After obtaining her BSN, she moved to Baltimore to work in the Cardiovascular Surgery Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins University to gain critical care experience to set herself apart from the many nurse anesthesia applicants to UNMC. 

“As a new CRNA, I loved that I had support from my CRNA and physician anesthesiologist colleagues and could always find someone to bounce an idea off for a complex patient or new surgical case,” Fraynd said.

Fraynd appreciates the blend of art and science in administering anesthesia. Working at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine provides opportunities to treat patients that no other hospital in the area has.

“We get to utilize so many technical skills — from advanced airway techniques to peripheral and neuraxial nerve blocks — while forming an individualized anesthetic plan for each patient,” Fraynd said. “Being able to provide comfort to patients during a vulnerable time is very rewarding.”

Fraynd values working with specialists who are experts and leaders in their fields and being able to collaborate with fellow CRNAs and physicians. As a CRNA with a young family, she also appreciates the work-life balance, flexible scheduling and parental leave benefits at Nebraska Medicine.

“Being a full-time CRNA and full-time mom will always present challenges, but I hope to be a good example to my daughter in creating a fulfilling life,” Fraynd said. “Fortunately, my husband is familiar with and supportive of this profession, as his mother was among the first CRNAs to practice at UNMC.”

As an experienced CRNA, Fraynd actively trains nurse anesthesia students from Clarkson College and Bryan College of Health Sciences. Although teaching is rewarding, she is particularly proud of being able to provide high-quality patient care. “It’s hard to beat hearing a patient wake up from surgery with no pain or nausea and in disbelief that surgery is all over,” she said.

She also enjoys teaching the public, especially middle school, high school and nursing students, about the profession through her advocacy work as a board member for Nebraska Association of Nurse Anesthetists, where she serves as public relations chair and president-elect. 

Fraynd enjoys traveling with her husband, Paul, and 18-month-old daughter, Eva, when she’s not at work.  In town, she can often be found strolling the streets of Memorial Park and Dundee with Eva and the family dog, Ruby.

“We’ve done well keeping up with our love of traveling, even with a baby in tow, taking her coast to coast and to Hawaii, Belize and Europe. She was a big hit at Oktoberfest in Munich,” Fraynd said.