Ep 146: Leading Up – How CRNAs Can Lead Without Being in Charge

Being a great leader doesn’t require a person to be in a position of power. Every CRNA has the opportunity to make a difference each day by leading up. The dean of Loma Linda University’s School of Nursing, Shawn Collins, PhD, DNP, CRNA, joins the show today to talk with us about this idea of making an impact from whatever role you’re in.

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

On This Episode:

Leadership comes in many forms. It’s not always the person in power that makes the biggest impact on a business. Sometimes leadership is found in places you wouldn’t expect.

That idea of ‘leading up’ is one that we want to explore more on this episode of the podcast. We asked Shawn Collins, PhD, DNP, CRNA, to be our guest this week. He became the first male dean at Loma Linda University’s School of Nursing after moving out to California a couple of years ago, but he’s been a leader through his career.

Today we’ll discuss how CRNAs can help improve and change things within our profession without being in a position of power. In a similar vain to advocacy, leading up can benefit nursing tremendously.

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

  • Why he feels this topic is important for the profession.
  • The different types of power that we can have without having an official title.
  • Knowing your BATNA – Best Alternative To Negotiating an Agreement
  • What leading up means
  • What can you do to lead up and an example of how he’s done it previously.
  • Are there better ways to implement ideas?
  • What is emotional intelligence and how does it play a role in leading up?
  • What personality traits and characteristics does it take to be a good leader?

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.

2:39 – Background on our guest today

5:03 – Why this topic is important  

6:11 – Different types of power  

9:21 – What is leading up?  

12:47 – Takeaways from being on hospital board

14:34 – Tips for leading up

18:20 – Emotional intelligence

22:43 – Leadership is learned

24:48 – Final thoughts from Shawn

26:45 – Lightning Round


“It’s leading those above you, influencing those above you to make changes for the good of the organization. And it’s about getting others to follow you out of respect and commitment rather than fear and compliance.”

-Shawn Collins, PhD, DNP, 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.