Ep 182: The Push for Full Practice Authority for VA CRNAs

More than 1,000 CRNAs work with the Veterans Health Administration and they can’t operate with full practice authority like their counterparts serving in every branch of the military. The Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists is working to change that despite significant pushback, and former president Diane Boettger, MHS, CRNA, joins the show to talk about her time on the board and the work the organization is doing to push CRNAs forward.

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

On This Episode:

The issue of full practice authority is one that’s been around for many years and one we’ve discussed quite a bit on this podcast.

We want to take that conversation in another direction today with Diane Boettger, MHS, CRNA. She’s a former president of the Association of Veterans Affairs Nurse Anesthetists, which represents the more than 1,000 CRNAs that work within the Veterans Health Administration across the country. It’s a volunteer, grassroots organization that relies solely on membership dues to help them continue to advocate on behalf of CRNAs.

Now that Boettger is no longer employed by the AVANA, she can speak a little more freely about the work they’re doing and the challenges they’re up against. Plus, she opens up about why a lack of full practice authority is impacting veterans and their access to care.

So as you listen to the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • The work they’re doing towards establishing full practice authority.
  • The different standards that have been established for service members versus veteran services.
  • The impact these rules have had on veterans and the care they receive.
  • What happened during COVID and how practices changed.
  • Details on the amount of pushback that’s been received against full practice authority.
  • The opioid crisis on the AVANA agenda and the role CRNAs can play.

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

[2:17] – Background on this topic

[3:18] – Why this is important

[4:25] – How AVANA is structured

[8:59] – Establishing full practice authority

[13:33] – Different standards while serving

[16:20] – How veterans have been affected

[20:15] – What changed during COVID

[22:57] – Why the huge pushback

[25:55] – What can CRNAs do to help?

[29:41] – Opioid crisis

[31:37] – How to help AVANA

[31:57] – Closing message



“It definitely has affected veteran’s access to care, and what we have been suggesting is to enable us to have these national standards of full practice authority. If there’s a CRNA that’s available, a CRNA can perform that procedure. We’re not in any way, shape or form trying to get away with or do away with or eliminate the role of a physician anesthesiologist, but perhaps the practice model might change.”

-Diane Boettger, MHS, 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.