Beyond The Mask: Innovation & Opportunities For CRNAs

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Ep 117: A Hand Up! How Dr. Lena Gould, EdD, CRNA, FAAN is Improving Diversity in Nurse Anesthesia

When you look at areas of the nurse anesthesia profession that need improvement, diversity would be near the top of that list. Thanks to Dr. Lena Gould, EdD, CRNA, FAAN, there’s a mentorship program in place that is helping facilitate entry into the profession for people of color. Today we’ll spotlight that work that’s being done, share Dr. Gould’s incredible journey to this point, and discuss ways to keep increasing diversity in the operating room.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

2:17 – Welcome our guest today, Lena Gould. 

6:47 – Her first trip to an AANA annual meeting 

9:26 – How education saved her during homelessness 

14:54 – HRSA grant

18:58 – The beginning of the diversity and mentorship program

23:49 – How she found out about nurse anesthesia

27:47 – Stats on nurses of color

31:38 – Financial barrier to entry

38:33 – An equity issue 

40:18 – Lightning Round

Ep 116: Importance of Mentoring in CRNA Leadership Development

For more than 20 years, the AANA Mentorship Program has played an integral role in the development of young CRNAs thanks to both the mentors and mentees that have committed to the annual event. Tracy Castleman, CRNA, has been deeply involved in the mentoring process so we asked her to join us to talk about the program, why it’s important for CRNAs to get involved, and what young professionals can expect to get out of this experience.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

4:47 – Background on Tracy   

7:13 – Why mentoring is important

9:28 – The first mentoring program

10:55 – Growth of the program

12:17 – Reasons mentorship is important for CRNAs 

14:37 – Key attributes of mentors and mentees

17:51 – How someone can get involved

19:16 – What happens on-site

28:31 – Charitable arm of NJANA

34:06 – Final thoughts on today’s topic

Ep 115: Summit Your Everest – A CRNA’s Story of Peaks, Valleys, and World Records

If you’re in the need for inspiration, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better story than the one that Jeanne Stawiecki, CRNA, will tell on this episode. Thanks to the power of positive and determined thinking, she went from smoking two packs of cigarettes each day to setting two Guinness World Records for marathon running and mountain climbing. It’s an incredibly powerful and emotional story and one you don’t want to miss.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

3:02 – Background on Jeanne and her accomplishments

6:35 – Her childhood

9:54 – Why she began smoking

13:04 – Marathon running begins

18:54 – Changing her thoughts and mindset

21:53 – The goal of 7 marathons on 7 continents

27:33 – Health challenges

30:27 – Second Everest attempt

35:23 – Climbing travel  

47:13 – What she’s doing now

48:52 – The incredible story of how she summited Everest

56:30 – Final message on being conscious every day

Ep 114: Crucibles of Leadership – Overcoming Fear, Doubt, and Uncertainty to Find Your Voice with AANA CEO Dr. Randall Moore

Being the lead of an organization like the AANA takes a special set of leadership skills, but reaching that point doesn’t come without obstacles like uncertainty and doubt. Join us as we talk with AANA CEO Randy Moore, DNP, MBA, CRNA, about his journey to his leadership role and how he’s handled periods of self-doubt along the way.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

2:00 – Why is this topic important?

4:09 – Developing leadership style

7:46 – His role vs what he expected

13:05 – Essential skills of leadership

17:12 – Struggling with being happy

25:28 – Learning from failure

27:43 – The role his wife played

29:34 – What he’s good at

31:45 – The hedonic treadmill

35:03 – Advice he’d give to aspiring leaders

Ep 113: Life in a 50-50 World - What Financial Impact Will It Have on CRNAs?

After watching another historic Inauguration Day, we can’t help but notice that the country has mixed feelings about where we’re headed. You can say we’re living in a 50-50 world. So as we welcome in a new administration, what can CRNAs expect from the economy moving forward and what does it mean for your finances?


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What we discuss on this episode: 

2:27 – Why we’re talking about this today

3:10 – The Social Dilemma

5:20 – New stimulus money

7:45 – Have we always had this large divide?

9:00 – The stock market

12:11 – Event-driven economic problems

14:47 – Tax concerns

18:16 – Investing in the market this year

22:15 – The key is having a plan

Ep 112: Courage to Lead – Two-Term AANA President Peggy McFadden, CRNA, BS

The next installment of our Presidential Leadership Series features Peggy McFadden, CRNA, BS, who actually served two terms as the AANA president. Join us as we look back on her impressive career and learn what challenges were facing the AANA in the mid-1980s and early 1990s.


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What we discuss on this episode:

3:17 – Background on Peggy’s life and career

5:25 – Challenges of the first term

16:10 – Replacing the Executive Director

19:00 – Medicare reimbursement

23:58 – Back for a second term

27:07 – Highlights of the second term

33:56 – What would she do differently?

36:29 – Her message to young CRNAs

39:58 – Running for public office

41:40 – Her hobbies

44:25 – Final thoughts

Ep 111: Finally! Two South Dakota CRNAs Elected to State Legislatures

While there’s plenty we want to forget about 2020, there was also a bit of history we want to spotlight. Sydney Davis, CRNA, and Taylor Rehfeldt, CRNA, became the first two CRNAs to be elected to a state legislature during the November 3 general election in South Dakota. Join us as we celebrate their story, find out why they pursued office, and learn about the issues they’re focusing on. 


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What we discuss on this episode: 

4:23 – Welcoming our special guests today

8:34 – Did they plan for this career in politics?

9:31 – Background on the election

13:54 – Innovative ways to campaign

15:51 – What made them go down this path?

21:33 – How much money was raised?

24:21 – Did the anesthesiologists come after you?

26:25 – Marketing as a nurse vs nurse anesthetist

29:02 – Why women and moms should run for office

30:47 – How has your family handled this?

36:19 – The issues Taylor wants to tackle

39:57 – Did being a nurse help your campaigns?

Ep 110: A Conversation with Powerful Women

In recent years, we’ve watched women rise to levels of power previously never seen. While it’s been an amazing evolution to watch, there’s still plenty of inequality in the world. Today we’ll take a look at the top issues in our country as it relates to women and discuss the pivotal roles women have played over the years. Kimberly Gordon, CRNA, and Judge April Wood join Sharon and Jeremy for a roundtable discussion.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

3:06 – Is Jeremy ready for this show?  

4:25 – Introducing our guests  

10:33 – Amy Coney Barrett

15:35 – Coronavirus impact on elections

21:22 – Great quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg

25:38 – Should the Supreme Court be a lifetime appointment?  

36:36 – The Equal Rights Amendment

39:57 – Woman’s role in the family   

53:40 – Why has the ERA never passed?  

55:59 – Making less money than male counterparts  

1:02:17 – Do women put their careers on hold for family?

1:08:55 – Are men okay with women making more?

1:12:10 – Jeremy’s cat

Ep 109: Goodbye 2020 – How to Financially Prepare for 2021 and Beyond

We’ve finally reached the end of 2020 and everyone is looking forward to turning the page to a new year. These past ten months have been a financial burden on so many CRNAs and their family and friends, but now is an opportunity to assess your future and make the changes you need. Financial planning can feel overwhelming so we put together a checklist to guide you through the most important areas of your money.


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What we discuss on this episode: 

6:52 – How Sharon & Jeremy feel about the vaccine  

9:49 – The financial topics we’re going to cover on this show

12:03 – Are you scared?   

13:21 – People have spent less this year

14:58 – Make sure you have your emergency reserve fund

16:20 – Should you refinance your mortgage?

20:00 – Have you checked your credit recently?  

26:21 – Investing considerations for 2021

29:20 – Where will taxes go in the future

31:52 – Retirement contributions

33:20 – College funding

34:20 – If you’re getting close to retirement

38:32 – Charitable giving

41:54 – Estate planning

46:55 – Thoughts on the continuing rise in CRNA salaries.

49:32  – What could the government do differently?

Ep 108: Honoring the Legacy of John Garde, CRNA, MS, FAAN

When you think back on the history of the AANA, few people left a legacy like John Garde, CRNA, MS, FAAN. A former President, Education Director, and Executive Director, Garde played a critical role in the growth and prominence of the organization and he made a positive impact on so many CRNAs. Today we honor his legacy and share our memories of this gift to our profession, and we’ll have the help of Nancy Bruton-Maree and Sandy Ouellette to do it. Plus, we’ll have a special montage at the end of the episode that you won’t want to miss.


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What we discuss on this show: 

1:57 – Honoring John Garde on today’s show

3:07 – He remembered everyone

4:51 – John’s early life

8:18 – How he became a nurse anesthetist  

9:50 – Some of his major contributions to the profession and AANA

12:20 – A lot happening with the AANA in the early 1980s  

14:24 – The other organizations he served  

16:14 – John’s leadership style at the AANA

21:56 – The awards he received

23:18 – Quotes about John

26:36 – Work hard, play hard

28:40 – The t-shirt he got at retirement

30:32 – Closing thoughts on John

37:37 – Special montage to honor and remember John

Ep 107: Mrs. Georgia American Using Her Platform for CRNA Awareness and Support for Healthcare Workers

None of us will soon forget this year, but 2020 has been especially life-changing for Christen Roberts, CRNA. Over the past year she’s created Bambu bracelets to support healthcare workers across the country and became the first Mrs. Georgia American. Both platforms have given her an opportunity to increase awareness for the CRNA profession and she joins us to tell us about this amazing journey.  


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About our guest: 


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What we discuss on this show: 

2:38 – Welcome in Christen Roberts, CRNA and Mrs. Georgia American

6:50 – Her background as a CRNA

9:12 – Anesthesia school

13:06 – Why this topic is important to her

15:00 – How the idea for bracelets came to be

18:40 – Financial challenges for 1099 employees  

20:52 – Why she competed for Mrs. Georgia American

23:16 – How she’s using her platforms to bring awareness to the CRNA profession  

25:09 – The upcoming national pageant  

26:18 – Explaining what CRNAs do

28:53 – Their goals for the bracelets and how to get one

31:17 – How they socially distanced at the pageant

33:04 – Her favorite word

34:26 – Is your Christmas tree up?

35:33 – A final message from Christen

Ep 106: The Impact of COVID 19 on Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs with Erin Martin, CRNA, DNP

The wide-ranging effects of COVID on the healthcare system have been well-documented, but what impact is this pandemic having on nurse anesthesia students and educational programs? Erin Martin, CRNA, DNP, is the Program Director at the Mayo Nurse Anesthesia Program and has seen the changes first-hand. She joins the show to share her experience this year and tell us what it could mean for the future of the profession.


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What we discuss on this show: 

2:33 – Welcome in Erin Martin 

3:52 – Why this is an important topic

5:27 – Program admissions

8:27 – What’s been the biggest challenge?

10:20 – Dealing with the lack of PPE

12:31 – How she helped students on the mental health side

16:06 – Repercussions for being out of clinical for six weeks

21:21 – Experiences that students are missing out on 

26:13 – New students haven’t ever been in a room together

29:26 – What happens after this all stops?

31:31 – What would you tell someone thinking about applying to an anesthesia program?

34:53 – Showing empathy to these students 

37:37 – Final message from Erin 

Ep 105: Nursing, Policy and Politics with Minnesota State Senator Erin Murphy, RN

As we’ve learned in 2020, having more nurses in leadership and decision-making positions would benefit the entire country greatly. One nurse that’s embracing their power to bring change is Erin Murphy, RN. After years in the nursing profession, she transitioned into politics 15 years ago and served as a state representative for more than a decade, became the first nurse to run for governor, and recently became a Minnesota State Senator in 2020. Listen as she shares her experience, the role of nurses in politics, and her ideas for getting more people involved.


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What we discuss on this show: 

1:49 – Welcome in, Erin

2:52 – Background on Erin

5:00 – Her experience in politics

9:42 – Door knocking on the campaign trail

13:21 – Balancing work and politics

17:42 – Her experience running for governor

21:41 – How can nurses get past the negatives and want to run for office?

25:51 – What would the pandemic looked like if a nurse was in charge?

28:10 – We need more nurses in public office

32:33 – Final message to nurses

34:00 – Sharon’s biggest takeaway from this conversation

Ep 104: How Ira Gunn Shaped Nurse Anesthesia Through Service, Education & Advocacy

Few people had an impact on nursing and the nurse anesthesia profession like Ira P. Gunn, CRNA, MLN, FAAN. Widely regarded as a visionary in the profession, Gunn’s legacy lives on through many different capacities. To help us better understand her life and accomplishments, Nancy Bruton-Maree and Sandy Ouellette join us to share what they know about Gunn and what they learned from working with her.


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What we discuss on this show:

2:53 – Nancy and Sandy joining us again in studio

3:30 – Today we’re talking about Ira Gunn

4:35 – Background on Ira Gunn and her early years

8:02 – Developing her life mission and vision

10:14 – Her career in the military

14:48 – Dr. Weeks served under Ira Gunn

17:03 – Her many gifts to nursing and nurse anesthesia profession

23:52 – Nancy tells a story about a time Ira saved her

27:25 – Awards and honors she received

28:54 – How was she viewed by her professional friends?

35:29 – What beliefs did she instill us that still has relevance today?

40:15 – Final Thoughts on Ira

Ep 103: Courage to Lead – 2018-19 AANA President Garry Brydges, PhD, DNP, MBA, CRNA, ACNP-BC, FAAN

We don’t have to go very far back to find the guest on the latest installment in our Presidential Leadership Series. Garry Brydges PhD, DNP, MBA, CRNA, ACNP-BC, FAAN, in the AANA, served as the AANA president for the 2018-19 year so his experiences are still very fresh. Join us as we look back at the challenges of his term, the lessons learned, and why self-reflection has become part of his daily life.


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What we discuss on this show: 

1:27 – Traveling during COVID

3:19 – Welcome in Garry Brydges

5:12 – Garry’s extensive educational background

8:16 – Was going to law school when elected AANA president

11:20 – Looking back on his presidency. Why did he decide to run?

19:48 – Why Garry was the right person for a role the board.

24:38 – Meetings are such a wonderful opportunity for presidents

27:38 – Challenges Garry faced during his year

36:26 – Leveraging social media

42:08 – Advocacy issues during his presidency

45:16 – The most valuable leadership lesson he learned

50:56 – A message to the younger CRNAs

52:40 – Garry’s athletic career

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