Ep 59: Legislative and Regulatory Issues CRNAs Face with Anna Polyak

It can be challenging enough for CRNAs to keep up with their own responsibilities each day so we understand how difficult it is to stay updated on changing legislation and regulatory issues. Did you know the AANA can be a huge resource for you? We brought on Senior Director of State Government Affairs Anna Polyak, RN, JD, to tell us about where the organization is focused and what they’re doing to help CRNAs.

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

***CE CREDIT ALERT: We are excited to share a series of podcasts in partnership with the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists as part of their new video and audio streaming platform, the CRNA Knowledge Network. For currently active members of the AANA, you can earn FREE Class A Continuing Education Credit by listening to these CE-approved podcasts on their platform!

Visit AANACKN.com and log in with your AANA User ID and Password to access the audio sessions for these particular episodes.

Note, some episodes are pending CE approval and may have an expiration date.

About the guest:

Ms. Polyak is the Senior Director of State Government Affairs and Legal at the AANA’s where she works closely with state associations of nurse anesthetists to remove barriers to CRNA practice to assure that CRNAs can practice to the full extent of their training and education.  Ms. Polyak received her BSN and JD from Loyola University Chicago.  Prior to joining the AANA in April 2011, she worked as the Corporate Compliance attorney for a national long-term care company and served as the Associate Chief Counsel for the Illinois Department of Public Health. Prior to starting her legal career, Ms. Polyak practiced as an operating room nurse.

On This Episode:

The landscape of healthcare will always be changing and evolving as new legislation is passed and regulatory issues are resolved. Even the most proactive CRNA who spends a lot of time getting involved outside of work will still have trouble staying updated.

Don’t feel overwhelmed. There are resources at your disposal to assist you in staying in the loop on these important changes, and the AANA is one best. Today we bring on Anna Polyak, RN, JD, who dedicates her time to legislation and regulations as the Senior Director of State Governor Affairs. We wanted her to be a part of the Beyond the Mask Podcast to help bring us up to date on what her and the organization are focused on.

On this episode, we’ll discuss a number of different things starting with the issues facing CRNAs and who regulates our practice. Anna will explain why it’s so important to stay updated and involved in this front to keep things moving forward. She’ll share what the AANA is doing to assist and what resources are available to you. As you know, things are different from state and national levels and that’s why their tracking service can be so beneficial if you want to find out what’s happening near you.

She also talks about a pilot program they’re rolling out in three states and what the goals for that are. And finally, we discuss the importance of building relationships with legislators and administrators so that they can better understand the work we do every day.

This is an episode that will benefit every CRNA and give you the knowledge you need to understand what’s happening in our profession. Plus, you can get a continuing education credit from the AANA for listening to this episode. Go to AANACKN.com to get the details.

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

2:21 – Welcome our guest today, Anna Polyak, RN, BSN, JD

3:15 – Let’s begin by talking about the legislative and regulatory things that CRNAs face and who regulates our practice.

4:46 – Why is this topic so important right now for CRNAs?

5:33 – What are some of the AANA goals have related to CRNA practice and scope of practice?

6:41 – Are all CRNAs under the board of nursing in all states?

7:43 – Anna explains the tracking service tool the AANA offers.

9:53 – Let’s talk about how CRNAs are regulated at the state level.

10:53 – AANA members can use the group to get help understanding the regulations.

11:55 – They look at these basic areas and focus attention here.

12:55 – How states can opt out from the federal supervision requirement.  

15:40 – Most members don’t know about this added value resource.  

18:35 – What states are going through certain issues currently that the AANA is spending time on?

19:17 – AANA is rolling out a pilot program in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Arkansas.

23:00 – What advice would you have for practicing CRNAs right now and what can they do to keep things moving forward?

25:42 – Sharon’s experience building relationships with legislatures in North Carolina.  

26:50 – Educating your facility administrator can also be very helpful. 

29:46 – What do you say to the CRNAs that don’t want to get involved beyond the day-to-day responsibilities of the job?

32:37 – Does Anna have any predictions about how the landscape might change in the coming years?

33:50 – Anna is in the middle of organizing a charity race.


“As health care delivery services are rapidly changing in this country and CRNAs aim to achieve full scope of practice, in order for them to continue providing high quality, cost effective services, they need to understand legislative and regulatory issues that they face at the state level.”

-Anna Polyak, RN, JD, Senior Director, State Government Affairs





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.