Ep #37: Spotlighting the IFNA – A Global Anesthesia Community

The International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists is celebrating 30 years as an organization in 2019 and we had the chance to spend some time with four current board members and one past president. During this episode, we had the chance to talk about the IFNA’s history, its mission, where it hopes to go in the future, and much more.

On This Episode:

The International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists formed 30 years ago with the mission of advancing educational standards and practices and has grown to become a true global community for the field.

During a trip to Chicago for a conference, Jeremy and Sharon had the opportunity to sit down with four current board members and a past president to discuss the evolution achievements of IFNA. Sitting in on the show was President Jackie Rowles (USA), 1st Vice-President Ingrid Andersson (Sweden), Treasurer Zorica Kardos (Slovenia), Executive Committee member Gye Seon Jeong (Korea), and past president Sandy Oullette.

This episode features that conversation, which goes in depth on the IFNA. The topics range from how the organization was formed in 1989, how nurse anesthetists are different in each country, the role IFNA plays in different countries, the favorite memories from each of the guests, and where the IFNA will focus its attention in the future as it continues to grow.

If you want to learn more about the group and their mission, we invite you to check out their website by clicking here. You’ll also find a wonderful picture of the current IFNA board on the site.

As you can see in the show rundown below, there’s a lot of great information in this episode of Beyond the Mask and we think you’ll really enjoy this conversation.

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

1:54 – Introducing today’s topic on the International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists         

2:09 – Welcome in our IFNA guests to the show.

2:28 – Some history on IFNA and how it formed from Sandy Oullette

5:15 – President Jackie Rowles introduces today’s panel: 1st VP Ingrid Andersson, Treasurer Zorica Kardos, and Executive Committee member Gye Seon Jeong

5:58 – Andersson shares the value of IFNA to her Swedish national organization.  

7:16 – Similar practices between US and Sweden.

9:15 – Gye Seon Jeong on her experience with IFNA in Korea 

14:10 – How many nurse anesthetists in Korea?

15:40 – Zorica Kardis from Slovenia joins the show to share her experiences.

16:40 – The challenges of being the treasurer of an international organization.

18:43 – The number of CRNAs in Slovenia and how their practice compares to the US.

20:05 – How the IFNA supports the growth within individual countries.  

21:15 – 107 countries reported nurses provide nurse anesthesia and we have 43 country members.

21:48 – What IFNA is doing to grow and expand the organization.  

22:55 – What are the greatest accomplishments of the IFNA?

26:33 – Where is the focus for the IFNA in the future?

28:49 – Each guests shares their best memory of IFNA

43:54 – Sandy Oullette shares a funny story.

46:27 – Jacky shares some closing comments on IFNA.

“Every time a country becomes stronger in terms of nurse anesthesia practice, and ever time a member in that country becomes stronger, it makes all of us in the global community stronger.”

Sandy Oullette, former IFNA president






Ep 226: The Need for More State Nurse Legislators

We talk all the time about the lack of nurse representation in policy-making positions, but that doesn’t make the data any less surprising. Today we’ll have a great discussion with Darlene Curley, EdD, RN, FAAN, about a study she recently completed on state nurse legislators. She’ll share some of the details with us in this episode and we’ll also have a wide-ranging discussion on how CRNAs and other nurses can continue increasing their involvement.  

Current Events

Ep 225: An Inside Look at Lobbying for Your State Association

During our visit to the NCANA meeting last fall, we had the opportunity to host a live podcast about lobbying for your state association and we had the pleasure of bringing NCANA lobbyists Patrick Ballantine and Tracy Kimbrell onto the panel with us. Both of them have been tremendous assets to our association because of their passion for lobbying. We explored that role to find out what skills it takes, how to utilize a lobbyist, and what you should expect from them.


Ep 224: ASA 2022 Difficult Airway Algorithm Update

The American Society of Anesthetists initially released the Difficult Airway Algorithm in 1993 to provide a guide for managing a patient with a difficult airway. It has been updated every 10 years since with the fourth iteration being released in January 2022.
The latest update has a number of key changes that Jeremy and Sass will take you through in this episode of the podcast.




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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.