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.

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

On This Episode:

The future of any profession lies in the hands of its young people, and that’s no different for CRNAs. That’s why we advocate all the time for people to get involved in the AANA and other organizations. It helps the profession continue to grow and move forward.

One great opportunity the AANA provides every year is the Mentorship Program, and Tracy Castleman, CRNA, has been involved with it since the beginning. The program began at the annual meeting in 1999 but was skipped in 2000 because there was already so much going on at the IFNA meeting in Chicago. But it returned in 2001 and has been going strong every year since.

Despite its longevity, there are plenty of people that either aren’t aware of the program or not completely sure what all is involved. So we’re going to lean on Tracy’s experience on this episode to learn about both sides of the program. Whether you are interested in becoming a mentor or thinking about singing up as a mentee, we’ll go into detail on what you can expect from the AANA Mentorship Program and why it’s so important for our profession.

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

  • What made mentoring such a priority in Tracy’s life.
  • How the AANA mentoring program began.
  • The program’s growth over 20+ years.
  • What makes a person a mentor and why is it so important to provide that guidance to young CRNAs.
  • Want to get involved in the program? Find out how the process goes.
  • What happens on-site when the mentorship takes place.
  • She’s in charge of the charitable arm of the NJANA and tells the story of how that was started.

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.

4:47 – 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

“When you take them in that moment, that timeframe when they’re still willing to learn and they’re willing to model a behavior, and you put them side-by-side with somebody who is motivated to share their experiences with them and allow them to have a safe space to ask questions and to bounce off ideas, I believe we create a better, more professional workforce.”

-Tracy Castleman, CRNA





COVID-19 Pandemic

Ep 213: Moral Injury and Nurse Anesthesia

With the increased distress and rationing of care that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic, the topic of Moral Injury (MI) has started to garner much more attention in the world of healthcare. This repeated conflict between an individual’s morality and the management of care causes a deep emotional wound that often drives workers out of the profession altogether. Jerry Hogan, DNSc, CRNA wrote an article about this subject, so we’ve asked him to explain the effects of MI and how CRNAs can resolve this conflict.

Current Events

Ep 212: Thankful for the AANA and Its Ongoing Efforts for CRNAs

It hasn’t been the easiest year for a lot of people, but we know there’s still plenty to be grateful for as we approach another Thanksgiving. Specifically, we wanted to shine the light on the AANA and everything they do for our profession each year. New AANA President Angie Mund, DNP, CRNA is a friend of the show and someone we appreciate quite a bit so we wanted to spend some time with her on this holiday to talk about everything she’s hoping to accomplish over the next year.


Ep 211: Anesthesia Management for a Pheochromocytoma

We’ve had CRNAs and SRNAs ask us to give them the essential information needed to manage a particular case and today we’re going to do that with Pheochromocytoma. This is the second episode in our endocrine surgical procedures series and there will be some valuable info that you might find on exams as well. Here’s the power-packed episode for anesthesia management for a Pheochromocytoma that we hope you get a lot out of.




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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.