The Real-World Impact of the AWHONN Convention

by, Michelle Amstutz, RN
Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor MI

I would like to share what an impact attending nationals has been for me over the last few years.

A few years ago I went to hear Michelle Collins present on Nitrous. She talked about bringing nitrous to Vanderbilt University Hospital. I was so inspired by her talk that I reached out to her to find out how I could do the same thing.

Michelle was very kind and gave me some great suggestions on how I might get started. After two years of research, committee meetings, writing policies, developing education materials and training staff it finally happened. Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital is one of only TWO hospitals in Michigan that offers nitrous as a form of pain relief for laboring patients.

As a pain resource nurse for our hospital, I am very committed to being able to offer patients the best pain relief options available. I am currently traveling within the state presenting on how to implement a nitrous program. I am asking hospitals to think outside of the box and look at the many applications of nitrous use within a hospital setting.

I can tell you without any reservations that I would have NEVER been able to do this without AWHONN.

I am currently a leader within the AWHONN Huron River chapter in Ann Arbor MI. I also serve on the AWHONN MI leadership team.

AWHONN has been instrumental in my professional development as a nurse.

I wanted to share this story with others in hopes that it would inspire them to follow their passion.

Learn more about the AWHONN Convention and register today!


AWHONN has a Nurses Leading Implementation of Nitrous Oxide Use in Obstetrics webinar to describe the history of nitrous oxide use to present day and the necessary steps nurses need to take to initiate nitrous services at their institutions.

Nitrous Oxide as Labor Analgesia, Nursing for Women’s Health, Volume 16, Issue 5, pages 398–409, October / November 2012.