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Virginia Chris Simmons

Clinical Professor in the School of Nursing
School of Nursing
307 Trent Drive, Room 3035, DUMC 3322, Durham, NC 27710


Virginia “Chris” Simmons, DNP, CRNA, CHSE-A, FAANA, FAAN is a Clinical Professor and the Program Director of the Duke University Nurse Anesthesia Program (DUNAP). Dr. Simmons is responsible for program oversight as well as simulation-based teaching, didactic course instruction, and student and faculty mentoring.  Dr. Simmons served as the Clinical Education Coordinator (CEC) from 2011-2018 and the Assistant Program Director from 2018-2019. 

After serving on active duty in the United States Air Force, Dr. Simmons earned a BSN at Auburn University Montgomery (AUM). She completed a MSN at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro/Raleigh School of Nurse Anesthesia and joined the staff of Duke Regional Hospital (DRH) in 2002. During her time at DRH, she served as a clinical preceptor for DUNAP students, held CRNA managerial and staff positions, and served on multiple nursing and hospital committees.

Dr. Simmons her DNP degree from Duke University School of Nursing in 2011 with “Focused Anesthesia Interview Resources (FAIR) to Improve Efficiency and Quality” as her scholarly project. Her scholarly interests include simulation, suspension of disbelief, the evaluation of educational preparation of registered nurses for preoperative anesthesia, day-of-surgery cancellations and delays, and the use and effect of perioperative oral and intravenous acetaminophen. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, North Carolina American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Sigma Theta Tau, American Nurses Association, North Carolina Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, the International Nurses Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL), and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH).  She was 1 of 20 selected for participation in the National League for Nursing's (NLN) Simulation Leader Program, has taught simulation in the US, Ghana, and Norway and introduced transgender simulation in the DUNAP.  Dr. Muckler was a 2019 Duke Clinical Leaders Program Fellow and was competitively selected among 55,000 CRNAs as recommended by the AANA to participate in a federally funded simulation study involving a 12-member simulation expert panel.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Clinical Professor in the School of Nursing · 2022 - Present School of Nursing

Education, Training & Certifications

Duke University · 2011 D.N.P.