Cecil Drain, Ph.D., CRNA, FAAN, FASAHP
Dean, College of Health Professions
In April of 1997, Cecil B. Drain, Ph.D., CRNA, FAAN, FASAHP, was appointed dean of the College of Health Professions at Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia Campus. Prior to that appointment, he had served as the interim dean of the college since July 1996, and before that as chair of the Department of Nurse Anesthesia since 1993.
Before coming to VCU, Dr. Drain had a distinguished 27-year career in the U.S. Army. He was selected for the first class of the two-phase anesthesiology nursing course and was a distinguished honor graduate of the Phase II portion of the course in 1971. After graduation, he became a staff nurse anesthetist and then acting chief nurse anesthetist at the 121st Evacuation Hospital in Seoul, South Korea. Later, while at Brooke Army Medical Center, he wrote the first edition of the book, The Recovery Room, which is now in its fifth edition and is regarded as the bible of post-anesthesia nursing. His book, Perianesthesia Nursing: A Critical Care Approach, was awarded Book of the Year honors by the American Journal of Nursing for 2009. The new sixth edition, authored by Dr. Jan Odom-Forren, is entitled, Drain’s Perianesthesia Nursing: A Critical Care Approach. Drain joins a very select few authors that have ever been selected to have their name in a book title.
In 1980 Drain returned to the Academy of Health Sciences to become the assistant program director and acting program director of the U.S. Army/State University of New York at Buffalo nurse anesthesiology course. He graduated from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and in 1983 he was assigned to Texas A&M University, where he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in educational curriculum and instruction in higher education.
Drain returned to Brooke Army Medical Center in 1986, and served as the special project officer along with providing anesthesia in the Department of Anesthesiology. In 1989, he moved to the Academy of Health Sciences, where he served as a branch chief and director of the U.S. Army/University of Texas at Houston program in nurse anesthesia. He also served on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, Baylor University in health care administration, and Texas Wesleyan University in Allied Health Professions. Dr. Drain retired from the Army in 1993 at the rank of colonel.
Drain’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Order of Military Medical Merit and the “A” Army proficiency designator, which is comparable to the full professor in the academic community. He was the 1981 winner of the Federal Nursing Service Award, which was presented by the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States. He remains the only nurse anesthetist to have received that research award. Drain was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing as a fellow in 1988, only the second nurse anesthetist in the country to be so honored. He was also inducted as a fellow in the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions in 2004 and has received lifelong achievement awards from both the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists and the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions. Additionally, he has authored three books, more than 70 professional articles, has presented at over 100 state and national conventions, and serves on three editorial boards and one research foundation.
Drain was the “Cowboys Fan of the Month” for the Dallas Cowboys monthly magazine. A very proud Cowboys fan, Drain’s favorite player was cited as Duane Thomas in the 2011 feature article. He is also is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond and serves as the club's program director. He was also featured as the “Fellow in the Spotlight" for the month of November in 2010 by the American Academy of Nursing. The feature article focused on Drain’s honored military career.
Drain brings a broad spectrum of experience in leadership, research, teaching and service to his position as dean. His vision for the College of Health Professions is one of continued excellence, motivating faculty, staff and students toward national achievement and recognition through the use of cutting-edge technology in preparation for the delivery of quality health care to the citizens of the 21st century.
Dr. Drain is married to the former Cynthia M. Phaff of Waseca, Minnesota. They have three children: sons Timothy and Stephen, who reside with their wives Holly and Shireen, respectively, in Texas; and daughter Kathryn, who with her husband, Jeff, reside in Midlothian, Va.