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PANA Student Update

As I am nearing the end of my tenure as a PANA board student trustee I’d like to take this time to thank everyone who has made this position available to SRNAs enrolled in Pennsylvania nurse anesthesia programs. When my program director contacted me regarding the opportunity, my biggest concern regarded the time commitment to PANA and how I would juggle a DNP workload at the same time. Being the first DNP cohort at my university, my program director also shared this concern as it would be uncharted territory.

Looking back through my last 12 months of serving on the PANA board, this experience has given me more than I ever imagined and it has been an honor to work with this small group of individuals who are fighting for our profession everyday within Pennsylvania. This Tidings article is to convince SNRAs and CRNAs to become more active in their PANA membership. Don’t allow a fear of time commitment to stop you from participating if the opportunity to serve on the board presents itself! Program directors are largely supportive of the position and schedules will work out. More importantly, the learning opportunity is invaluable to an SRNA. If you’re an SRNA it may be likely you’re asking what it is PANA specifically does for our profession. In short PANA works throughout the year with lobbyists, lawyers, congressman, CRNAs and SRNAs throughout the state to protect and advance our profession. This is especially important in a state which does not officially recognize nurse anesthetists on our professional licensure and has the potential to pass more restrictive practice laws. Nurse anesthetists are ultimately responsible for the protection and continued success of our profession in the years to come. It is only through member engagement and a statewide coalition of nurse anesthetists that can guarantee our profession remains as rewarding and important to ourselves and the healthcare system respectively.

These themes tie in very well with the transition all nurse anesthesia programs have/will go through to produce doctorally prepared graduates. More emphasis is being place on leadership, political action and advocacy, and the research and implementation of quality improvement interventions. Throughout my tenure I have been able to see first hand how the PANA board plans meetings with representatives, surveys the membership, manages finances for both the association and political action committee, engage SRNAs and much more. Without membership engagement most of this this vital work done on behalf of our profession remains hidden in the background. Unfortunately, no matter how hard PANA works to protect our profession, member engagement is most key to pass legislation in support of nurse anesthetists in Pennsylvania.

Keeping in mind the timing of the release of this Tidings issue I’d like to congratulate new SRNAs who have begun their studies. To SRNAs entering their second and third years, stay strong! I personally can’t believe how fast the months are going by. It’s hard to spell out all the benefits and educational opportunities PANA offers SRNAs and CRNAs in a short Tidings post, but I urge everyone to become more involved. You can receive sponsorship for mid-year and annual meetings, meet with your state and local legislatures to educate them regarding nurse anesthetists, learn the details about laws, statute and regulations which dictate our practice, network with anesthetists from other networks and states, and most importantly it inspires. At my first meeting with the PANA board nearly one year ago, I remember feeling largely confused with bill numbers, regulations and key members to lobby. Today, I not only understand these issues, but I feel professionally and personally responsible to get involved. Having met in DC with my federal representative’s staff has left me wanting to participate in the experience again. I also plan on meeting with my district representative with classmates in the next month. I couldn’t have imagined being politically active in my profession just 11 months ago, but PANA has transformed my view of leadership and advocacy within the profession.



Andrew Kapterian, BSN, CCRN, SRNA

DNP Candidate Thomas Jefferson University

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