Ep 89: CRNA Advocacy and GRC Efforts with Debbie Barber, DNP, CRNA

Gaining a seat at the table is something our profession is working diligently to achieve so CRNAs can advocate for everyone on a local, state, or federal level. This year has served as a reminder that we need to continue fighting to eliminate barriers and moving forward. Debbie Barber, DNP, CRNA, is the former Chair of the AANA Government Relations Committee and dedicates much of her professional life to pushing for advocacy and increasing awareness among young CRNAs. Today she’s joins us to talk about those efforts along with all of the resources that the AANA has available to members.

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

On This Episode:

The CRNA profession has taken some large steps forward through the years, as we try our best to document, but there’s always more work to do.

It’s always been a priority for Sharon and this podcast to push for advocacy and help fellow CRNAs understand why it’s so important. On this episode, we asked Debbie Barber, DNP, CRNA, to join us and help provide her perspective on the topic. As a CRNA for nearly 30 years, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the show and can better explain the resources available to keep you abreast of new laws, procedures, and regulations. 

The Government Relations Committee of the AANA is the first place to start. As the former Chair of the GRC, Dr. Barber help provide the assistance to members and knows how valuable that committee can be. They have a wealth of information on hand for both federal and state guidelines that you can access. You have the option to do it on your own or you can contact the AANA and they’ll assist you in tracking down what you need.

That includes the CMS guidelines, which have become a major topic in 2020. The ability to perform your job without supervision is only a temporary measure as we deal with the pandemic, but the work being done right now by CRNAs really pushes the argument forward that these measures should become permanent.

The supervision regulatory barriers are one of the biggest obstacles facing CRNAs right now, which is why the temporary CMS guidelines are very important. Even if you are able to get a federal removal, often times your state will have an additional barrier to get over before you can practice independently. But there are other barriers facing our peers right now and Dr. Barber will take us through those.

Here are some of the other topics we will cover on the show:

  • Why it’s important for CRNAs to understand legalities.
  • The vast amount of state and federal resources offered by the AANA.
  • Can the current CMS guidelines become permanent?
  • Why it’s so important for students to be involved.
  • The biggest barriers for CRNAs right now.
  • Why CRNAs need to run for office.

We really appreciate Dr. Barber for taking the time to join us as we continue to work virtually in many ways because this is such a vital area for growth and development across our profession.

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

2:48 – Welcome Debbie Barber, DNP, CRNA

3:53 – Some background on Barber

6:38 – The importance of understanding CRNA practice.

8:47 – The resources offered up by the AANA

11:17 – Should the temporary CMS guidelines become permanent?

15:53 – The standard of care is the same

17:14 – State resources available from the AANA.

21:37 – Should students be involved in advocacy?

26:58 – The barriers facing CRNAs.

30:41 – CRNAs need to become the administrator rather than relying on someone else.

34:16 – Running for office could become a great retirement job.

37:44 – What other career would you have chosen if not CRNA?

38:57 – Final thoughts from our guest today.

“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





CRNA Careers

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.

CRNA Careers

Ep 181: The CRNA Coroner – Another Avenue to Serve

It’s been incredible to watch the number of CRNAs that have thrown their scrubs into the ring for political positions around the country. As the trend continues to grow, we want to spotlight another one of these incredibly talented and devoted nurse anesthetists that have been recently elected.

CRNA Careers

Ep 180: Lobbying for CRNAs – How to Influence State Legislatures and Agencies

If you want an eye-opening perspective on lobbying and what it takes to influence lawmakers, this will be an episode you don’t want to miss. Bob Guyer of The Lobby School gives us a master class on how to be successful in convincing legislators to align with your goals, which is essential for CRNAs as we continue to fight to protect our industry and our paycheck.




Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyStitcherTuneIniHeartRadio



J. Cross CRNA
Read More
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!
Read More
I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
Read More
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.
Read More
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!
Read More
If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.