CEO Randall Moore: AANA at a Crossroads - Engage. Unite. Evolve.
We stand today at a crossroads, both as a profession and as an organization.
Nurses as a whole have always been the backbone of healthcare. We get the job done. Now, as a profession, advanced practice registered nurses, and CRNAs in particular, are on the brink of achieving some profound accomplishments. We are poised and assembled to take our rightful place as a fully functioning independent member of the American healthcare workforce.
For many areas of healthcare, we are already there. CRNAs in all four branches of the military practice with full autonomy. Those of us in rural areas, and opt-out states, or states that have no restrictions on our practice in their state laws, do the same. Some of us travel hundreds of miles each day to ensure access to care. Some of us ride out with the ambulances to help establish airways and give our patients the best opportunity for a positive outcome. Some of us extend our practice to developing countries to bring life-saving help to those in need. Some of us educate, to push the attainable level of the future ever higher. We have proven ourselves time and time again to be competent, safe, dedicated anesthesia providers.
The association also is at a professional crossroads. Our members have always been a vocal lot. From where I stand, as well you might imagine, this is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, moving our profession forward with loud, unvanquished fervor. A curse because it can divide us, so convinced are we that we, in particular, are right, and you, in particular, are not.
The AANA’s founder, the wise and visionary Agatha Hodgins, said in her President’s address at the very first annual meeting in 1933,
“The basis of criticism is imagination, because the fine exercise of the critical faculty implies ability to see the picture whole, not as a part. Remembering that mental vision must precede practical expression, we should all create a vision not only of the organization as a whole, but also of the part we as individual members hope to play. The more clear cut and aspirational this vision is, the greater probability of its fulfillment…Let us then start by exercising that spiritual quality, simplicity, not only in weighing and determining future policies, but in establishing working relationships with one another. Be simple, direct and sincere. Thus, practicing simplicity, we shall as individuals and a group reap its spiritual fruits—clearness of vision, singleness of purpose, strength and endurance.”
What we seek as a profession is equality and recognition, but more than that, our dedication has been, and continues to be, to make a positive difference in the lives of our patients.
This year’s Annual Congress has the theme of “Engage. Unite. Evolve.” We are here to engage with each other, to reach out and connect, and to put forward our most professional demeanor. We are here to unite for our future, to bring nurse anesthesia into the future, and to face the many battles we have faced before, together. We must unite, if not in theory, in practice. United we stand, divided we fall. That’s a cliché, but it has withstood the test of time because of its truth. And, of course, we must evolve. We must be flexible, we must be visionary, we must be ready to continue the good fights that our forbearers have fought that have brought us to this moment. We must stand together and work together for our common good.
We are at an incredibly interesting and vital time. Let’s continue the dialogue. Let’s continue the vision, the hope, the leadership and the promise of what we are now and what we will be, going forward.
We are not a profession that sits on its laurels and watches the world go by.
We do not go quietly into the good night.
We have the fortitude, the talent, the education and the skills to bring our profession to the forefront of healthcare. Let’s do it together.