Ep 138: The Highs & Lows of Sharon’s Journey to a DNP

Before we share anything, please note that this is an emotional episode. Not only was the journey to a DNP a long and arduous one for Sharon with plenty of highs and lows that we’ll discuss, but we begin the show with heartbreaking news about Sharon’s granddaughter, Emma Kate. It’s tough to discuss but it’s important for the healing process and we appreciate everyone for the support along the way.  

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

On This Episode:

Today’s show won’t feature a guest but we think this conversation will still benefit a lot of people, including both Jeremy and Sharon.

As you’ve heard over the past couple of years, Sharon went back to school at Yale to get her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and it’s been a journey full of ups and downs. Now that she’s achieved her goal(!), we thought it would be great to share the good and bad from this experience to help give CRNAs an accurate idea of what to expect.

Sharon’s tattoo honoring her granddaughter, Emma Kate

Before we do that, though, we have some very heartbreaking news to share with friends and listeners. Some of you might have heard by now, but Sharon’s sweet granddaughter, Emma Kate, recently passed away shortly after she came into the world. As you can imagine, it’s been a difficult and emotional time for the family but we wanted to address it to help the healing process.

If you’d like to help us remember Emma Kate, the Halos are hosting their 11th Annual Memorial Walk on August 14, 2021 and donations are welcome here.

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

  • What made Sharon decide to go get her DNP
  • The why behind her drive.
  • The defining moment of her career that really opened her eyes.
  • The pros and cons of distance learning and taking online classes.
  • Why should someone go get their DNP?
  • What words of wisdom does Sharon have for people considering this?
  • The tough times during this journey
  • Sharon has a final message for younger CRNAs that are considering a DNP.

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

2:25 – Plan for the show today

3:32 – Heartbreaking loss for Sharon’s family

8:39 – Sharon’s journey to get her DNP

13:01 – The why behind her decision

15:28 – Pros and cons of distance learning

18:34 – Why should you go back to get your DNP?

22:54 – Words of wisdom

26:57 – Getting overwhelmed through this journey

32:46 – Looking back on the process

35:45 – Final message to the younger CRNAs


I learned so much. I thought that I had been around for a long time and I knew a good deal, but there’s still so much to learn. And I enjoy learning and I think by and large, most CRNAs do. They’re continuous learners.

-Sharon Pearce, DNP, CRNA





CRNA Careers

Ep 237: To DNP or Not To DNP

Many CRNAs are returning to school to earn their Post-Master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice but is it worth it to spend the time and money to earn another degree? You can find plenty of information and discussion about DNP project topics and people that have earned their DNP, but it’s not as easy to find a thorough explanation of how to go through that process and the actual value it provides. Devin Miller, CRNA, DNP joins the show today to get into the details of a DNP and tell us why he feels it can empower nurses after completing the program.

Current Events

Ep 235: 2023 AANA Update with CEO, Bill Bruce

Bill Bruce, MBA, CAE, took over as the CEO of the AANA last summer so we caught up with him to get an update on how the organization has progressed over his first eight months. It’s already been a busy term already with staffing changes and the AANA moving into a new building, but there are many policy issues to be managed and addressed as well. Join us as we find out what’s happening inside the AANA and how the organization is tackling key issues.




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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.