San Diego

The Westin
San Diego Bayview
San Diego, CA
April 12-14, 2024

Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds!

Tasha McNerney, BS, CVT, VTS (Anes), CVPP
Stephen Niño Cital, RVT, RLAT, SRA, CVPP, VTS-LAM (Res. Anesthesia)
Darci Palmer, BS, LVT, VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia)
Kristen Messenger, DVM, PhD, DACVAA, DACVP
Michele Barletta, DVM, PhD, MS, DACVAA

Earn up to 18 hours (15 hours of lecture, 3 hours wet lab) of RACE and NYSED-approved CE (pending) while in the heart of downtown San Diego.  Elevate your standard of veterinary anesthesia by learning from the best in veterinary anesthesia education. Enjoy the Craft Beer Scene and incredible food and drink options in Little Italy, also known as “Top Chef Alley”. Blocks away, the Gaslamp Quarter features bars, entertainment, and nightlife. During the day, walk to the Embarcadero, hop on a harbor cruise, or take the ferry to the iconic Coronado Island. Take a walk in the park at Balboa Park, known for museums, art, nature, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. 

Regional Nerve Block Wet Lab

3-hour hands-on cadaver lab

*Limited spots available*

Expand your veterinary anesthesia and analgesia toolbox! 

This hands-on lab will give you the practical skills necessary to immediately start providing regional/local anesthesia for your patients. Our world-class instructors will cover the basics of regional nerve blocks and build to more advanced ultrasound-guided techniques utilizing cadavers.  With a low student-to-instructor ratio, this lab is designed to optimize your learning experience. 

Register Early:

Go-Getter: $995 if registered by January 12, 2024
Jet-Setter: $1125 if registered after January 12, 2024
3-hour Wet Lab (optional): $399

Tentative Schedule

April 11, 2024
5-6 pm: Registration
6 – 7 pm: Welcome reception 

April 12, 2024
7-8 am Breakfast Buffet/Registration
8 am-1 pm Meeting
10:50-11 am Break & snack
1 pm Explore & enjoy
2:00 pm-5:00 pm: Wet Lab (group 1) 

April 13, 2024
7-8 am Breakfast Buffet
8 am-1 pm Meeting
10:50-11 am Break & snack
1 pm Explore & enjoy
2:00 pm-5:00 pm: Wet Lab (group 2)

6:30 pm: Panel discussion

April 14, 2024
7-8 am Breakfast Buffet
8 am-12 pm Meeting
10:50-11 am Break & snack
12 pm Explore & enjoy
1:00 pm-4:00 pm: Wet Lab (group 3)

Tasha McNerney


Tasha is a Certified Veterinary Technician from Pennsylvania where she works as an educational consultant and relief anesthesia technician. Tasha is the founder of the Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds, while also a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner and board member of the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) to educate the public about animal pain awareness. In fact, Tasha was the thought leader behind the now celebrated “Animal Pain Awareness Month” within the veterinary industry.

Tasha became a veterinary technician specialist in anesthesia in 2015. Tasha loves to lecture on various anesthesia and pain management topics around the globe and was recently named the VMX 2020 speaker of the Year.

Tasha has authored numerous articles and textbook chapters on anesthesia and analgesia topics for veterinary professionals and pet parents.

In her spare time, Tasha enjoys reading, spending time with her husband and son, and recording the Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds Podcast.

Stephen Niño Cital

RVT, RLAT, SRA, CVPP, VTS-LAM (Res. Anesthesia)

Stephen Niño Cital is a multi-credentialed veterinary technician specialist with a passion for anesthesia, pain management, and cannabinoid medicine. Cital has been on the forefront of cannabinoid medicine and the evolution of pain management in veterinary medicine. He has authored multiple articles and contributed to several textbooks, including acting as the lead editor for the first cannabinoid medicine textbook, titled “Cannabis Therapy in Veterinary Medicine” by Springer Nature. He serves on multiple boards and is a strong advocate for veterinary technician advancement, along with minority representation. Stephen is the COO of the Veterinary Anesthesia Nerds, LLC. He is a lab manager at Stanford University in the department of neurobiology in addition to a clinical pain practitioner and partner at Remedy Veterinary Specialists. For more information, please see www.StephenCital.com.

Darci Palmer

BS, LVT, VTS (Anesthesia & Analgesia)

Darci Palmer has been a credentialed veterinary technician for 21 years. She obtained her veterinary technician specialty in anesthesia and analgesia in 2006 while working at the Washington State University (WSU) Veterinary Teaching Hospital followed by a position at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Currently, Darci is at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine where she is providing both didactic lectures and clinical hands-on training to veterinary students.

In addition to her clinical work, she serves as the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia & Analgesia, Executive Secretary.

Darci’s passion for educating continues outside of the teaching hospital as she has been an instructor for VSPN since 2007, lecturing and writing on the topics of anesthesia and analgesia nationally, and has been teaching a two-module small animal anesthesia course that she created since 2010.

Kristen Messenger


Dr. Messenger obtained her BS in Animal Science from NCSU in 2002, and Ph.D. in Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Pharmacology focus, in 2016 under the mentorship of Dr. Mark Papich.

Dr. Messenger joined MBS in 2015 as a veterinary anesthesiologist, and then as a an assistant professor of clinical pharmacology in 2017. As an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Messenger’s lab focuses on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of analgesic drugs, and utilizes unique, minimally-invasive methods to optimize drug therapy in animals.

Michele Barletta


Dr. Michele Barletta graduated from the University of Turin, Italy in 2002, where he completed his PhD in veterinary oncology in 2006. He then moved to the United States where he completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Purdue University in 2007. After his internship he stayed at Purdue University for his anesthesiology residency and Master’s degree. He worked at the University of Minnesota for three years as Assistant Clinical Professor in anesthesia before joining the University of Georgia in 2013. His clinical interests include pain, critical patient management, and large animal anesthesia.

Once in a lifetime location

Reservation Information:

We are pleased to offer a fantastic group rate for $209/night available from April 11 to 14th, 2024. The $25 Destination fee has been waived.  Please call 1-888-627-9033 or visit the conference hotel link to make reservations before Tuesday, March 12, 2024 to guarantee the group rate.

Rates are for single or double occupancy, subject to applicable occupancy and sales tax, which are currently an occupancy tax of 10.695% and SDTMD assessment of 2%. These rates are subject to change.    


  • Round-trip complimentary Airport shuttle service
  • Daily unlimited internet connections (guestroom and designated Wi-Fi hot spots)
  • Complimentary access to Fitness Center and Pool
  • 2 bottles of water per day upon request 
  • Valet-parking options available 

Area Attractions: 

  • With 70 miles of coastline, there’s a beach for everyone (luxe vibes in Coronado, party atmosphere in Pacific Beach, and family-friendly wonderland in Encinitas)
  • Explore sea caves with kayaks
  • Craft Beer
  • Gaslamp Quarter
  • Little Italy 
  • Balboa Park
  • San Diego Zoo
  • SeaWorld
  • San Diego Harbor Cruise
  • Sunset Sailing on San Diego Bay
  • USS Midway Museum
  • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
  • LegoLand
  • PetCo Park


  • San Diego International Airport