Ep 88: Courage to Lead – Former AANA President Cheryl Nimmo, DNP, MSHSA, CRNA

The next episode in our presidential series provides a thorough look at the challenges – expected and unexpected – that AANA board members face every year. Cheryl Nimmo, DNP, MSHSA, CRNA, was the AANA president in 2016-17 and she dealt with a wide range of issues that she never anticipated, including the departure of CEO Wanda Wilson.

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

On This Episode:

Sharon called our next guest one of the top five people she ever served on the AANA Board of Directors with and now she’s our next featured past president in our Courage to Lead series.

On this episode of Beyond the Mask, former AANA president Cheryl Nimmo, DNP, MSHSA, CRNA, sat down with us to look back on her year atop the organization in 2016-17. You won’t find many people as organized and prepared as Nimmo, but as she quickly found out as president, there will always be fires popping up that quickly take priority.

That’s what we’ll spend most of this episode discussing because it provides a good look at everything that leaders in our profession have on their plate at any given time. No matter how prepared you are and what you have on your agenda, the attention quickly shifts to whatever issues face members and CRNAs.

During Nimmo’s time as president, these fires became a common occurrence and had to be addressed along with the regular initiatives that the AANA has on its agenda. That’s why she tells us one of the top lessons she took away from the experience is to do your homework. Put in the time to research and review everything that you work, and that’s what she’s always done.

Over the course of the episode, we will look back on Nimmo’s year as president and let her reflect on a lot of different topics. One of those will spend a little more time on is the process of selecting a new CEO for the AANA after Wanda Wilson decided to retire. We will find out more about why they used an outside search firm and how that was perceived by the members.

Here are the other key areas we’ll spend the most time talking with her about on this show:

  • Members being upset with Audio Digest after a letter was accidentally sent out to CRNAs.
  • Trying to get the VA to grant us full scope of practice.
  • How they handled the departure of a CEO.
  • The issue with Novitas.
  • Why your personal life gets put aside during your presidency.
  • The leadership lessons she learned.

Like all of the other former presidents we’ve had on the show, it’s such a pleasure to hear all about their experiences and the leadership lessons they learned along the way. And it’s always insightful to listen to the final message they choose to leave the young CRNAs that have a long career ahead.

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

3:27 – Dr. Cheryl Nimmo joins us today. Here’s some background on our guest.

6:45 – Remembering her year as AANA President

10:42 – No matter how prepared you are, there are always fires popping up.

11:45 – The VA issue

13:05 – The next issue that came up was CEO Wanda Wilson deciding to retire.

15:35 – Why she used a third party to search for the new CEO.

18:40 – How the decision was viewed internally.

25:14 – The next issue with Novitas.

27:20 – Then there were all the normal initiatives the board deals with.

30:22 – Most valuable leadership lessons learned during her time.

33:31 – Two other professions she might have chosen if not for CRNA.

36:17 – Everything she’s gained personally and professionally from the AANA.


“We were successful in finding a good CEO, I believe. So far he’s proven to be a good choice.”

-Cheryl Nimmo, DNP, MSHSA, CRNA

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