CRNAs and Law Enforcement: The Parallels of Managing Pain and Having Compassion


Check out the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

Today we’re excited to bring on two special guests for a compelling conversation. Sharon convinced her husband, Mike, to be a guest co-host on the show while visiting the mid-year assembly in Washington D.C, and they are joined by former Chief of the Aurora (Illinois) Police Department Kristen Ziman. She wrote a book about her experiences – good and bad – in the law enforcement profession and the leadership lessons she learned. You’ll be surprised by how many parallels there are between her career and the careers of CRNAs and this episode will have some powerful messages to share. 

Kristen recently retired from law enforcement after 30 years of service, where she began as a police cadet at the age of 17 and worked her way up to become the first female commander and Chief in 2016. All of that experience couldn’t prepare her for everything that would happen her final three years in the position: a mass shooting in 2019, the pandemic in 2020, and then civil unrest that also began in 2020 following the death of George Floyd.

She’s taken those experiences and written a book that she calls a ‘purge of the soul.’ It’s given her the chance to reflect on her profession, what’s right and what’s wrong, and talk about the failures and successes she’s had over the years. There are so many great lessons that apply to CRNAs and anyone trying to be a better leader at work.

Here are some of the things you’ll learn on this show:

  • A little background on her experience in law enforcement that led to her writing a book and becoming a speaker. [4:11]
  • What she feels are the core tenets of leadership. [8:16]
  • Finding your purpose each day to make yourself feel proud. [13:16]
  • How to become a disruptor in your profession to help improve the culture. [16:13]
  • Why it’s important to allow members of your team to be vulnerable. [23:21]
  • The three things that drive human performance. [30:23]
  • The greatest freedom we have is to choose the way we respond to a specific stimulus. [35:20]
  • The importance of surrounding yourself with a ‘personal board of directors.’ [43:33]

Check out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.


We’re excited to share that Beyond The Mask has been recognized in the 18th Annual People’s Choice Podcast Awards. We’re nominated in two prestigious categories: the coveted ‘People’s Choice Award’ and ‘Best Healthcare Podcast.’

We’re asking you to vote for us in the People’s Choice Podcast Awards. Your vote not only helps us win but also spreads the word about our mission to demystify our corner of the healthcare industry, one story at a time.

Cast your vote here:


A lot of the lessons I learned throughout my 30 years transcend law enforcement and apply to all professions, which is why I’m here.

-Kristen Ziman







CRNA Careers

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J. Cross CRNA
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This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
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I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
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I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
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I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
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If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.