Ep 169: CRNA Advocacy in Pennsylvania and the Lessons Learned

Today we want to shine the advocacy spotlight on the work being done by CRNAs in Pennsylvania, who have helped drive some significant changes in their state. Laura Wiggins, DNP, CRNA and Jessica Poole, DNAP, CRNA are two of the nurses involved in shaping the legislation and they join us to share the details on what’s happening in the Keystone State and what it means for all of us in the profession.

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

On This Episode:

Anytime we get the chance to spotlight the advocacy work being done in our profession, we want to do it because it’s so important to help push the field forward.

Today we’re excited to welcome on Laura Wiggins, DNP, CRNA and Jessica Poole, DNAP, CRNA. Both are talented CRNAs who are involved in the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists and have a dedication to making positive changes for their state. While we may be talking about Pennsylvania specifically, the things we talk about have wide-ranging ramifications.

If you haven’t been able to keep up with recent news, we’ll bring you up to speed on what’s been happening in the Keystone State. The PANA has helped drive some major changes and we’ll find out how they’ve been able to do it. We also want to hear more about their strategies for building relationships with local and state leaders, which is always a critical part of getting your voice heard.

Check out the full conversation using the audio player above.

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

  • Details on the legislation they’ve been working on and what they hope to accomplish
  • Why it’s important to have the CRNA title designation
  • Their relationship with the Board of Nursing
  • The other big changes within the PANA in recent years
  • Pennsylvania Act 60
  • The importance of building relationships with legislators
  • Paying CRNAs to advocate at state and national levels
  • Developing relationships with other professional organizations

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. 

3:05 – Welcome Jessica and Laura  

4:32 – Background on Jessica

6:29 – Background on Laura

7:59 – Legislation they’ve been working on

11:11 – The opposition to it

13:03 – Board of Nursing’s position 

14:52 – Who makes these designations? 

18:38 – Other changes they’ve gotten enacted

22:15 – The physician requirement of Act 60

23:38 – Getting students involved in legislative issues

25:29 – Relationship with lobbyists  

27:03 – Developing relationships with legislators

30:07 – Compensating CRNAs to advocate

32:41 – Networking support from other groups

39:06 – CRNA practice during COVID in PA

41:12 – Getting involved in advocacy


“As far as CRNAs getting involved, we’re trying to do a better job of making that easier for them. Whether it be on a social media platform or outreach. We’ve been doing a lot of in-district meet-and-greets to try and engage our members, which has been widely successful. We’ve noticed over the past year or two that we have more CRNAs that are paying attention to what’s going on.”

-Jessica Poole, DNAP, CRNA





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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.