Ep 53: Sharing the Gifts of Our Past

Past AANA presidents Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, and Nancy Maree, CRNA, join the show for the final episode of 2019. We’ll take a look back at how they’ve seen the profession evolve and discuss the gifts they’ve given and received from the profession through the years.

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

On This Episode:

After a wonderful year of guests on the show and growth thanks to you, it’s time for us to put a bow on 2019 by talking about the gifts of our past. We want to add another chapter to our historical series and we’ll do so with Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, and Nancy Maree, CRNA.

Both women are past AANA presidents and have more than 95 years of combined experience in the nurse anesthetist profession. They’ve seen the landscape change quite a bit and we want to share their perspective with you on the final episode of the Beyond the Mask Podcast for 2019.

We begin the conversation by going back to their roots. What made Sandy and Nancy decide to go into a profession that wasn’t well-established at the time? And what was school like when they attended? The profession was in its infancy when these women began studying to become nurse anesthetists. So much has changed at that level and they both share their experiences.

[3:42] – What drew Nancy into a career as a nurse anesthetist?

[5:26] – Here’s what got Sandy into the career and it started at a young age.

[8:50] – How has the educational process for nurse anesthetists changed over the past 40 years?

[13:47] – Sandy remembers a coup that happened when she began school.

[16:28] – Sandy talks about how different many of the processes were.

There’s so much to love about being a nurse anesthetist and one of those is the income potential. As Sandy points out, the return on investment for CRNAs is still incredible over your lifetime, especially when you compare it to other careers that require advanced learning.

[19:54] – The return on investment is still tremendous for CRNAs.

[22:07] – Over 90% of CRNAs spend a career in clinical anesthesia, but Nancy and Sandy moved from clinical to educational. They talk about why.

In the spirit of the holidays and as a way to say thanks for an incredible 2019, we ask our guests about the gifts they’ve both given and received during their careers. And Sharon even adds her own reason to be thankful this year.

[26:47] – Both ladies have given back a lot to the profession.

[31:59] – Nancy gives her thoughts on what she’s thankful for and what the next generation of CRNAs should be thankful for.  

[35:45] – Here’s what Sandy is thankful for.  

[37:12] – Sharon has a message for Jeremy.

Thanks for checking out another episode of Beyond the Mask. Please subscribe and join us next week for another show.


“It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I did something to really give back to my profession if I can see my former students involved, being president of the NCANA and those types of things. To me, that’s a tremendous blessing.”

-Nancy Maree, former AANA president

Share this episode with a friend: