HAMDEN — Judy Thompson of Guilford, a clinical assistant professor of nursing and director of the nurse anesthesia program at Quinnipiac University, has been named 2014 Program Director of the Year by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

“This is a national award, and the highest honor a CRNA program director can receive,” said Jean Lange, dean of the School of Nursing. “I attended the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists conference last August, and can attest to how highly Judy Thompson is regarded by her peers nationwide. We are most fortunate to have her as the director of our new nurse anesthesia program.”

Established in 1991, the Program Director of the Year Award is presented to a CRNA who has made a significant contribution to the educational process of student nurse anesthetists. The award recognizes the commitment of individuals to the profession of nurse anesthesia and the advancement of educational standards that further the art and science of anesthesiology and result in high quality patient care.

“It’s certainly an honor,” Thompson said. “I’ve been a nurse anesthetist for 35 years and a program director for 28 years. It has been the most rewarding experience of my professional life.”

Thompson has also developed a new graduate nurse anesthesia program at Quinnipiac that will start this summer.