Russ Branch

Russ Branch

Assistant Professor, clinical track | DNP, CRNA, ACNP-BC, CNE


Dr. Branch has over 20 years of clinical experience as an Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) and is dual board certified as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP-BC) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). He is originally from Southern Illinois and began his career in nursing first as a medical-surgical nurse, and then transitioned to the emergency department (ED) as well as coronary care unit (CCU) in both staff and charge roles. While working in the ED and CCU at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, his interest in becoming an APN within the ACNP role led to enrollment in the ACNP Program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. After graduation from the program in 2000, he began employment as a staff ACNP in the Division of Trauma/Burn at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Level 1 Trauma Center and held this position until leaving this position to attend the nurse anesthesia training program at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia. While a student in the anesthesia program, he continued to work PRN as an ACNP in the emergency department. After graduation from nurse anesthesia training in 2004, he moved to Atlanta, GA and has worked in staff and lead CRNA positions in several hospitals in the Atlanta-Metro region providing anesthesia care involving acute and critically ill adult patients. He graduated from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with his nursing practice doctorate in December, 2020. Dr. Branch's primary area of clinical scholarship focuses on developing methods of preventing hypoxemia during intraprocedural sedation within the obese patient population. He was primary author of the article “Environmental Surface Hygiene in the OR:Strategies for Reducing the Transmission of Health Care-Associated Infections”published in the AORN Journal in October, 2020. He is also primary author of the article “Implementing Preoxygenation in Obese Patients Prior to Esophagogastroduodenoscopy Procedures in a Fast-Paced Ambulatory Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Center: A Quality Improvement Project” which was published in the June, 2022 edition of the AANA Journal. Currently, Dr. Branch is investigating the use of apneic oxygenation as a technique in preventing hypoxemic events in obese patients receiving deep sedation with intravenous propofol during EGD procedures.

Areas of Expertise

Nurse Anesthesia
Teaching & Learning
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Branch, R., & Amiri, A.(2020). Environmental surface hygiene in the OR: Strategies for reducing the transmission of health care-associated infections”; Approved for 1.8 CEUs; AORN Journal 112(4), 327-342. doi: 10.1002/aorn.13175.

Branch, R., Hoy, H., & Currin, K. (2022). Implementing preoxygenation in obese patients prior to esophagogastroduodenoscopy procedures in a fast-paced ambulatory gastrointestinal endoscopy center: A quality improvement project”; AANA Journal 90(3), 197-205.