Beyond The Mask: Innovation & Opportunities For CRNAs

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Bonus Episode: Global Update on Nurse Anesthesia and COVID-19

When we talk about COVID-19, our attention goes immediately to our own cities and states, but the US is one of more than 150 countries dealing with the pandemic right now. To get an update on how CRNAs around the globe are being impacted, we talk with IFNA President Jackie Rowles, MBA, CRNA, ANP-BC, FAAN.


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's rundown: 

1:42– Jackie Rowles updates us on some of the headlines globally, which countries are being impacted, and how students are being called to help.

7:06– Jackie details her visit to Brussels before returning back to the US.

8:27– How is everyone holding up around the world?

11:32– We’re all going to deal with a learning curve through this ordeal but we also have to do an in-depth analysis after to become more prepared.

12:40 – Do countries have the personal protective equipment that they need?

13:49– Why was the US so underprepared?

20:28– The bottomline is there’s just so much uncertainty with this and it’s impacting employment.

23:16– Teamwork rises above the politics and we’re all having to come together.

25:26– There’s a demand for healthcare and the elective procedures will come back strong.

28:04– We need to take more precautions when we’re traveling.

32:07 – Jackie’s final message about being blessed to serve the IFNA on behalf of our country.

Bonus Episode: COVID-19 Has Impacted My Income - What are My Options?

No one could have predicted the outbreak we’ve seen from COVID-19, and it’s served as a wake up call for many people. We’ve all been impacted financially or emotionally or both, and now we’re getting a lot of questions about how we can manage finances when income is up in the air. On this bonus episode, we’ll look at the options you have during this uncertain time.  


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Contact CRNA Financial Planning here: 


Today's rundown:

1:32 – Everyone is being impacted financially and emotionally right now.

4:08 – Things can change in an instant, like employment status, so you need to have an emergency fund.

7:19 – Roles and responsibilities for CRNAs are even changing during this pandemic.

10:09 – A lot of CRNAs are worried right now about income.  

14:30 – Can I file for unemployment?

16:47 – What if you work for a company/hospital and get reduced hours?

18:09 – Options for hospital-employed CRNAs

22:03 – How is the unemployment amount calculated?

24:27 – Hopefully we all learn a lot from this experience once it passes.  

26:32 – Basic financial steps you need to be taking everyday.

30:32 – Don’t forget that tax deadlines have been pushed back.

32:50 – Jeremy’s final message for everyone.

Ep 66: Nursing & Public Policy: Why Nurses Need to Be Involved with Lt. Governor of Delaware

Nursing continues to grow its presence in politics and no one represents those achievements better than Bethany Hall-Long. The Lt. Governor of Delaware became the first nurse in the country to hold that esteemed position and she joins the show today to talk about the importance of being involved and having a voice in policy-making.


About our guest: 


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's rundown: 

1:44 – We’re excited to welcome Bethany Hall-Long on the show.

2:19 – Bethany gives us a little background on herself and career.  

4:15 – The Coronavirus shows why it’s so important to having the calming voices of nurses in the policy-making world.

5:30 – Sharon begins the conversation with a story about connecting with Bethany.

6:44 – Where did Bethany’s interest in a political career come from?

9:32 – Take us back to your first election and what lessons you learned from that?

14:09 – Why should nurses be involved in policy?

16:11 – What are some of the risks when nurses aren’t at the table?

19:02 – If no one is speaking for nurses, who will?

20:04 – We’re seeing examples of this with COVID-19.  

21:44 – Nurses seem to have the makeup to be strong leaders. Why don’t they run very often?

25:31 – Bethany will be joining the candidate school for nurses at Yale.

29:08 – If you could choose another profession, what would it be?

32:19 – Bethany leaves us with one final message.

Ep 65: The Road to State Presidency with Sharon Pearce, Jackie Rowles, Tracy Castleman & Carole Doyscher

Have you ever aspired to be the association president in your state but aren’t completely sure how to get there? We brought together four former state presidents for a roundtable discussion on the path to reach that position. We’ll talk about the traits you need, the importance of getting involved, and what everyone gained from the experience.  


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Today's show rundown: 

2:25 – A Facebook message sparked the idea for this episode.

2:58 – Former presidents Jackie Rowles, Tracy Castleman & Carole Doyscher join us today.

4:03 – What’s the first step on that path to presidency?

5:48 – Carole feels finding a mentor is very important.  

6:36 – Tracy was a big part of the AANA’s mentorship program getting started.

8:19 – Jackie shares her perspective on what it takes to rise up.

9:51 – If a young CRNA wants to get involved, what should that first step be?

11:41 – The women discus character traits they’ve seen from leaders.

15:48 – You have to be able to identify someone that can come up behind you and be your replacement.  

17:04 – There’s a sacrifice to be made when you take a leadership position.  

19:22 – What resources do we have at the AANA level?

23:06 – How do you prepare for issues?

25:04 – Carole shares her point of view working in a small state like South Dakota.

27:44 – Teamwork is important and finding a great lobbyist is crucial

28:45 – As a president in a state, what exactly do you do?  

30:56 – Remember that you are a representative the entire profession.

32:04 – Summarizing what everyone feels about the role of the president.

33:37 – What did each woman get out of taking the president role in their state?

Ep 64: Courage to Lead – Former AANA President Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA

We continue our ‘Courage to Lead’ series by bringing Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, MS, into the studio to look back on her time as AANA President. Join us as we discuss the accomplishments, the lessons learned, and what message she wants to get across to the next generation of CRNAs.


Read more about Nancy and get additional resources here: 


Today's show rundown: 

2:12 – Nancy Bruton-Maree joins us in studio today.

2:28 – Summarize some of the things that happened during your AANA presidency.

4:26 – The office based guidelines began during her time on the board. She explains how it came to be.

6:50 – Mentoring program for doctorate-level students was a new concept 25 years ago.

9:56 – This progression of education has taken place over a short period of time. Why is that?  

11:34 – Nancy remembers the new program director’s orientation workshop that was in place.

13:31 – The AANA was an early adopter of the dedication of the Women in Military Service Memorial.

14:47 – Were there a lot more women than men in the 80s and 90s?

16:00 – The first CRNA boat cruise was held during her year.

16:45 – HCFA and the deferral to states on supervision of CRNA Medicare cases.

21:30 – Nancy talks about the strong board that she had.

23:45 – Board meetings were very organized and efficient.

25:16 – Here are some of the lessons Nancy learned as president.

28:16 – What would you tell the new generation of CRNAs about the profession?

31:42 – If she couldn’t be a CRNA, Nancy would be a veterinarian.

Ep 63: Student Perspectives of Anesthesia School with Dr. Kristie Hoch, CRNA

Choosing to become a CRNA requires a lot of hard work or dedication but the time has never been better to enter this profession. We wanted to get a better sense of the challenges and opportunities for anesthesia school students in 2020 and Dr. Kristie Hoch, DNP, CRNA, MS, RRT, from the University of Arizona’s College of Nursing will help us gain that perspective.


About the guest: Dr. Kristie Hoch, DNP, CRNA, MS, RRT is the Program Administrator for the University of Arizona's DNP-Nurse Anesthesia program. She chose to become a CRNA after serving with them in Desert Storm.  Kristie has years of experience as a CRNA in every practice model and setting, to include office based, critical access, academic teaching hospital and trauma centers


Check out the show notes and get additional resources here: 


***CE CREDIT ALERT: Did you know you can get continuing education credit from the AANA for listening to this episode? Go to to get the details and get your credit today! And see a list of other episodes that qualify for CE credit hereNote, some episodes are pending CE approval and may have an expiration date.


Today's show rundown: 

2:08 – Welcome in our guest Dr. Kristie Hoch, DNP, CRNA, MS, RRT 

2:33 – Today we’re focusing on students and their perspectives as they learn in anesthesia school.

3:57 – This is an important topic because these students are our future and we need to provide all the tools they need.

4:29 – What are the advantages of being a nurse anesthesia student in 2020?

6:17 – Online classes today allow Kristie to provide students the lecture ahead of time and use class for discussion.

7:24 – Anesthesia class is such a challenge so we want to make sure each student has a support system.

7:50 – Students are able to find mentorships through social media and other online sites.

9:00 – How has the demand for CRNAs affected Kristie’s work?

10:22 – How is the DNP changing opportunities for students and CRNAs?

12:20 – Dr. Hoch shares an ‘aha moment’

13:25 – The prospects for these graduating students is very bright in 2020.  

14:42 – One of the big challenges still is how costly the education process has become.

16:48 – Financial education needs to be a conversation for students throughout the process.

19:12 – We tell students to live like they did on a nurse salary for a few years to pay off debt and gain control of finances.

21:24 – Another thing students are completely unaware of is that they move up a tax bracket.

21:49 – A popular conversation we have with students is W-2 vs 1099 work.

22:38 – What are some of the other challenges are students are facing right now?

26:29 – Social media has its advantages, but it can also be very disruptive to students and their careers.  

30:25 – There’s so much negativity on social media with people tearing each other down. Why is that?

31:48 – How Dr. Hoch got into education. She shares the story of saying no to the job and why her mind changed.

33:50 – Dr. Hoch explains the unique way that she picks her travel.            

35:09 – Her last trip was to Santa Fe.

35:46 – Dr. Hoch’s final message to students about how challenging school is but how rewarding it will ultimate be.

Ep 62: Hey Smart Mamas - Balancing Motherhood with a CRNA Career

The three women behind the Scrub Caps & Sippy Cups podcast joins us to talk about the personal side of the profession. Being a mother is such a difficult job on its own but then you add in a CRNA career and it can be a struggle at times. You’re not alone! Let’s speak candidly about the challenges and how we can lean on each other for support.


Full show notes and additional resources: 


Today's rundown: 

1:33 – Jeremy and Sharon use Facebook Live today. 

1:55 – Sharon is excited about this topic. She’s been talking about this for months.

2:38 – Welcome CRNAs Crystal, Ellen, and Laci from the Scrub Caps & Sippy Cups podcast.

2:49 – Laci shares her background as a CRNA.   

3:50 – Ellen tells us about growing up in the Ukraine, her career, and family. 

4:54 – Crystal shares her background.  

7:28 – Why is this subject so important and what made you start this podcast? 

8:23 – Social media has allowed moms from all over the country to connect with each and support one another. 

9:52 – All three ladies live in different states and time zones. Have they been able to meet face to face yet?

12:56 – What was your biggest misconception about parenting? 

13:52 – What was Crystal most unprepared for when becoming a parent?

14:33 – The difficulty of breastfeeding explained to Jeremy. 

16:52 – Jeremy stirs it up with another question about breastfeeding.  

18:34 – There’s so much external guilt placed upon moms to breastfeed. 

20:13 – Mom-judging goes both ways, too. 

21:26 – Let’s talk about the difficulty of making a marriage work on top of everything else. 

24:38 – Crystal talks about the issues and challenges of marriage with kids and a career.

25:20 – The subject of love language comes up and some of us share ours. 

27:19 – The discussion of laundry and husbands takes over. 

29:40 – What do you make time for to take care of yourself?

33:06 – It’s important to maintain your own identity. 

35:28 – Here’s where you can find the ladies and connect with them. 

36:10 – Final thoughts from the ladies. 


Come join us on Facebook: 

Ep 61: NCANA History with Cathy Briggs, CRNA

The state of North Carolina is fortunate enough to have Cathy Briggs, CRNA, documenting the history of the organization as well as the profession for the NCANA. She joins us today to look back on the lessons learned through the years, the important legal battles, and the people who have influenced the most.


Show notes and additional resources: 


Today's rundown: 

1:33 – We’re recording at the NCANA meeting in Wilmington.

2:16 – Today we’re joined by Cathy Briggs, historian for NCANA.  

2:38 – How did you get involved in this role?

3:49 – Kathy being given the lifetime achievement award from the NCANA.

4:24 – What are some of the important things in our history that we can learn from?

6:21 – 50% of all CRNAs are going to retire in the next 10 years.

6:50 – How strong is the NCANA?

7:33 – Looking back on some of the legal battles North Carolina has faced.

9:11 – North Carolina has used strong advertising efforts to create awareness for the industry.

11:37 – Who has influenced the history of the NCANA the most?

12:48 – Cathy is seeing a trend that current students aren’t as aware of the association as past generations.

15:18 – Has there been much collaboration between other advanced nursing professionals?

16:22 – What can we do to encourage SRNAs?

21:16 – Tell us more about what’s happening with legislation.  

22:42 – Some history on when the NCANA was formed.

24:44 – What would Cathy be doing if she wasn’t a CRNA?

26:14 – Final message from Cathy on staying involved.  

29:09 – Cathy recalls a message she heard years ago that sticks with her today.

Ep 60: Courage to Lead – Sandy Ouellette Reflects on Year as AANA President

Our latest installment of the ‘Courage to Lead’ series features Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, who was president of the AANA in 1989. We go back in time to reflect on her long list of accomplishments from that year and beyond. Sandy played a key role in Medicare reimbursement, the IFNA’s creation, and AANA insurance and she looks back on each of these and more.  


Show notes and additional resources: 


Today's Rundown: 

2:18 – One of our favorites is in studio with us today, Sandy Ouellette.

2:47 – Sandy takes us back through her year as AANA president.

3:42 – A list of achievements in 1989.

6:52 – ‘Sandyisms’

7:45 – What was the role of the board of directors and Medicare reimbursement that year?

9:51 – It takes a village to make these changes.  

10:28 – TEFRA and how ratios were agreed upon.

12:18 – Some history on the formation of IFNA

16:03 – AANA insurance celebrated 30 years in 2019. Why was it formed and what was the purpose of that?  

18:53 – The insurance has also created some additional benefits.  

19:21 – Sandy describes the replica dividend check she received which shows how much has been given back to the AANA.

21:17 The College Bowl has become a special event.

23:16 – Sandy shares the trade publications that have made a big impact on the industry and how history will be documented moving forward.

27:58 – What are the most valuable leadership lessons Sandy learned during her year in office?

30:05 – As this new generation of CRNAs takes over, what message would you like to get across to them?

32:05 – We need to use the power of social media for good.

34:10 – Sandy wouldn’t change her career path if given another opportunity.

36:00 – One final message from Sandy.

Ep 59: Legislative and Regulatory Issues CRNAs Face with Anna Polyak

It can be challenging enough for CRNAs to keep up with their own responsibilities each day so we understand how difficult it is to stay updated on changing legislation and regulatory issues. Did you know the AANA can be a huge resource for you? We brought on Senior Director of State Government Affairs Anna Polyak, RN, JD, to tell us about where the organization is focused and what they’re doing to help CRNAs.


Show notes and additional resources 


About the guest: 

Ms. Polyak is the Senior Director of State Government Affairs and Legal at the AANA’s where she works closely with state associations of nurse anesthetists to remove barriers to CRNA practice to assure that CRNAs can practice to the full extent of their training and education.  Ms. Polyak received her BSN and JD from Loyola University Chicago.  Prior to joining the AANA in April 2011, she worked as the Corporate Compliance attorney for a national long-term care company and served as the Associate Chief Counsel for the Illinois Department of Public Health. Prior to starting her legal career, Ms. Polyak practiced as an operating room nurse.


Today's rundown: 

2:21 – Welcome our guest today, Anna Polyak, RN, BSN, JD

3:15 – Let’s begin by talking about the legislative and regulatory things that CRNAs face and who regulates our practice.

4:46 – Why is this topic so important right now for CRNAs?

5:33 – What are some of the AANA goals have related to CRNA practice and scope of practice?

6:41 – Are all CRNAs under the board of nursing in all states?

7:43 – Anna explains the tracking service tool the AANA offers.

9:53 – Let’s talk about how CRNAs are regulated at the state level.

10:53 – AANA members can use the group to get help understanding the regulations.

11:55 – They look at these basic areas and focus attention here.

12:55 – How states can opt out from the federal supervision requirement.  

15:40 – Most members don’t know about this added value resource.  

18:35 – What states are going through certain issues currently that the AANA is spending time on?

19:17 – AANA is rolling out a pilot program in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Arkansas.

23:00 – What advice would you have for practicing CRNAs right now and what can they do to keep things moving forward?

25:42 – Sharon’s experience building relationships with legislatures in North Carolina.  

26:50 – Educating your facility administrator can also be very helpful. 

29:46 – What do you say to the CRNAs that don’t want to get involved beyond the day-to-day responsibilities of the job?

32:37 – Does Anna have any predictions about how the landscape might change in the coming years?

33:50 – Anna is in the middle of organizing a charity race.

Ep 58: CRNA Dogma & Traditions with Peter Strube: Where’s the Evidence?

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why something is done a certain way? There are so many aspects of our job that are based on standards and procedures developed years before us but should we be questioning these? Today we talk with Peter Strube, CRNA, DNAP, about dogma and traditions in nurse anesthesia and how things will continue to evolve.


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Today's rundown: 

1:43 – Let’s welcome Peter Strube to the show. Tell us a little about yourself.

3:29 – Why is this topic dogma and tradition important?

6:22 – What’s the oddest dogma that you talk about in your lectures?

7:33 – How hard is it to break tradition?

10:36 – What’s Peter’s favorite current dogma trend?

11:57 – How LR leads to panic attacks.  

13:46 – Peter recently had to undergo surgery.  

15:27 – How did Peter get involved in this area?

17:06 – Do you implement the things you learn about in your practice?

18:47 – What does the future hold for changing dogma?

21:03 – What would Peter be if he wasn’t a CRNA?

22:34 – Final message from Peter on this subject.

Ep 57: How CRNAs and SRNAs Can Deal with Stress and PTSD

Working as a nurse anesthetist can be a highly emotional and stressful position as you constantly deal with pressure to perform. That’s why there’s an emphasis being put on health and wellness by people like Jerry Hogan, DNSc, CRNA, ARNP-BC, who is the program director at Rush University. He joins us to talk about this topic and ways that CRNAs and SRNAs can cope with the stress and PTSD brought on from work.  


Read more and get additional resources here: 


Today's rundown: 

2:25 – Our guest today is Jerry Hogan, DNSc, CRNA, APRN-BC

3:37– Opening up with the key points on today’s topic of PTSD, Second Victim Syndrome, wellness, and stress.

5:55 – PTSD is divided into three clusters: re-experiencing, avoidance, and persistent arousal.

7:28 – How much of this is a societal issue?

10:09 – Anesthesia school is very trying and that’s where wellness starts.

13:13 – Jerry believes that healthy people are people that can control their thoughts and feelings and behaviors.

14:28 – We are the ones responsible for our own well-being.  

15:43 – Wellness resources that are available for CRNAs.

17:32 – How do you practice mindfulness?

20:30 – What’s your response when people say we are babying our students?

22:35 – Discussion on cognitive reframing.

26:00 – What Jerry does when his stress level is elevated?

28:31 – Jerry recaps his career and experience in the military, which led him to this field.

34:00 – Final message from Jerry

Ep 56: Courage to Lead: Looking Back at Dick Ouellette’s Time as AANA President

In the latest installment of our Courage to Lead series, we spend some time with Dick Ouellette, CRNA, MEd, who was a two-term president of the AANA. During his time serving in that capacity, Ouellette helped reinvigorate the profession by focusing on education standards and had a heavy involvement in direct reimbursement coming to pass.


Read more about this episode: 


Today's Rundown: 

2:43 – Our special guest today is Dick Ouellette, CRNA   

3:17 – Give us some highlights from your two terms as AANA President.

4:46 – The second thing he was interested in at the time.

6:19 – Where he was focused during the second term.

7:18 – Why were joint committees so important to Dick at the time?

10:39 – Direct reimbursement’s beginning and how it progressed during his term.

16:42 – What’s the significance of direct reimbursement?

19:18 – What would it look like today if direct reimbursement didn’t happen?

23:48 – Education was a big concern for Dick. What was the response when he wanted to increase requirements?

28:08 – Dick shares a great story about Sandy and education.  

28:33 – Moving to 1990 and the commission that formed.

33:06 – The thing that Dick feels we’re lacking the most today.

36:39 – If Dick could pick one other profession, what would it be?



Ep 55: How Smart Leaders Prepare for an Unknown Future with Calvin Stovall

The healthcare industry, much like the world around us, is full of uncertainty. How comfortable are you with the potential for change? Today we talk with keynote speaker Calvin Stovall about actions and principles you can apply to your life to help you continue to grow and perform at a high level.


Read more about this topic and get additional resources: 


Today's rundown: 

1:50 – Our guest today is Calvin Stovall.

4:36 – What can a person do to prepare for uncertainty?

5:43 – Widen your circle to become a better person.

7:01 – What keeps people from stepping out of their comfort zone and meeting new people?

8:51 – We aren’t taught how to fail. How does someone move forward after failing?

11:16 – Putting this podcast together was stepping out for us and a big learning experience.

12:07 – What Sharon would tell her children when things weren’t going well.  

12:59 – You should never stop learning. It’s a big part of being successful.

15:31 – What do you tell people that are scared to step out of their comfort zone?

17:58 – Do you know how much the average attention span has changed since 1980?

20:52 – What Sharon does every year to challenge herself.

22:27 – Calvin has a mastermind group that meets every quarter.

24:41 – How can take that entrepreneurial spirit and apply it to the CRNA industry?

26:29 – The book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ talks about mastermind groups.

28:20 – Why Calvin’s favorite word is passion.

31:12 – What final message would Calvin like to leave for listeners?

32:34 – How to get in touch with Calvin.

Ep 54: How CRNAs Should Prepare for Depositions with Steve Mund

No one ever expects to be a part of a lawsuit but situations arise where CRNAs have to answer questions under oath. It’s an intimidating process, especially for someone who’s never been a part of a trial before, but we’ll help prepare you for a deposition by explaining the process and how you can protect yourself.


***CE CREDIT ALERT: Did you know you can get continuing education credit from the AANA for listening to this episode? Go to to get the details and get your credit today! And see a list of other episodes that qualify for CE credit here.


Show Notes and Additional Resources: 


Today's Rundown: 

2:23 – Today we’re joined by Steve Mund.

4:07 – Why is this topic so important?

4:59 – Here’s what got Steven interested in depositions.

7:14 – Why would a CRNA ever need to be deposed?

8:26 – Steve explains the deposition process.

10:46 – You need to have a lawyer that represents you personally.

13:26 – It’s important to understand your insurance policy and what it says.  

15:44 – So I’m being sued, what do I do?

17:16 – How often do administrators have to deal with lawsuits?

18:38 – How are depositions different from trials?

21:13 – Being deposed makes people nervous. Here’s what you can do to make sure you don’t speak out of turn.  

22:28 – Charting is extremely important.  

24:24 – What do you do if you make a mistake while you’re testifying?

26:58 – If you feel like you’re losing your cool in that environment, what should you do?

29:48 – Why your demeanor can affect your deposition.

32:51 – What training or resources are available to CRNAs?

37:13 – Final thoughts on the subject.