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.

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

On This Episode:

People across the country are still talking about this past November’s election, but not for the reasons you might think.

The voting in South Dakota during the November 3 general election resulted in the first two CRNAs being elected to state legislatures. At least that’s what we believe. There are stories that there was a CRNA in Illinois elected but that’s never been confirmed, so we’re going with this vote in 2020 as a special one for our profession.

Republicans Taylor Rehfeldt, CRNA, and Sydney Davis, CRNA, were the top votegetters in their respective district House races and they join us on the podcast to talk about that momentous day. As you probably know, this is a topic that Sharon and this podcast has been passionate about for a while so we’re excited to share this news.

These two South Dakota State University nursing graduates hadn’t ever run for office before but working on some CRNA legislation recently gave them confidence to run in 2020. They felt there was a need and it was the right time to take this step. And we’re glad they did.

So as you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • Background on our two guests
  • How they got interested in politics
  • Their campaigns
  • The unique strategies used to campaign for the positions during COVID
  • What finally pushed them to run for the legislature
  • Did anesthesiologists push back?
  • Balancing family, work, and politics
  • The issues they’d like to tackle

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

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?

 


“We worked on some CRNA legislation and through that process, we found ourselves feeling more confident about running for the legislature. It really opened our eyes to work that needs to be done and areas of healthcare especially on a state level that need to be advocated for.”

-Sydney Davis, CRNA

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