From AANA Leadership
  • AANA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan Advances Core Values

    Creating an organization where all members feel a sense of belonging and thrive is critical for the future of all associations. In April 2021, the FY21 AANA Board of Directors (BOD) voted to implement a three-year diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategic plan. This is the first AANA strategic plan to focus solely on DEI.

    The objective of the DEI strategic plan is to increase the awareness and visibility of DEI within the nurse anesthesiology profession. As a core value, DEI will continue to be woven into all aspects of education, practice, patient care, advocacy, research, and leadership.

    The DEI strategic plan is divided into three sections. See below for an update on our progress in achieving those objectives:

    Key Result #1: DEI will be valued and incorporated within AANA Governance processes, resulting in increased diversity, representation, and education of the AANA Board of Directors, Committees, Task Forces, and Panels.

    • All of the FY22 BOD, Task Forces, Panels, Committees, and the AANA staff liaison will participate in mandatory DEI education as part of the onboarding process of the volunteer leaders of the association. The AANA Foundation is also requiring its board of directors, trustees, and staff to participate in this training. The education tool being used is a customized platform for AANA leaders call Blue Ocean Brain, which provides microlearning on topics pertaining to diversity and inclusion, leadership, and professional development.
    • Collected committee application data will be incorporated into the decision-making and selection process of volunteer leaders. This data will be reviewed annually.

    Key Result #2: AANA membership will experience increased awareness of the value of DEI within the AANA, resulting in greater interaction and exposure to DEI-related content.

    • The creation of the AANA DEI Committee in 2019, allowed for a group of members to assist the AANA BOD to fulfill its responsibilities to promote recognition that AANA members are demographically diverse and practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered across the United States.
    • A procedure has been implemented to review practice documents with a DEI mindset. The most recent DEI-related practice guideline is The CRNA’s Role in Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Anesthesia Care.
    • Over the last four years, the AANA Professional Development Department added a diversity and inclusion category to the call for abstracts process for various AANA meetings.
    • As part of the AANA’s National Observance Campaign titled “I Am Me,” a number of articles and brief “I Am Me” statements have been shared.
    • A three-year observance plan with a different theme each year has been created. Currently, feature articles and “I Am Me” statements are centered around the benefits of diversity, Asian Pacific Heritage Month, LGBTQ Pride Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, National Disabilities Month, Movember (Men’s Health and Mental Awareness Month), Black History Month, and Women’s History Month.
    • In addition to articles, we’ve received a significant amount of member engagement from our town hall meeting on diversity, equity, and inclusion and two webinars focused on the CRNAs’ Role in Reducing Health Disparities We will continue to produce these events. Please visit the CRNA Knowledge Network to view past webinars and lectures. Keep an eye out for an upcoming webinar on maternal health disparities.
    • On the advocacy front, the AANA Federal Government Affairs Division has included comments regarding the impact of health disparities, racial injustice and discrimination, and patient’s experiences of microaggression in the AANA comments to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems and other CMS calls for comments.

    Key Result #3: Nurse anesthesiology will be an obtainable career for all qualified nurses, resulting in a more diverse nurse anesthesia educational program applicant pool, student registered nurse cohort, and ultimately, CRNA workforce.

    • The AANA continues to partner with individuals and organizations to bring awareness to the fulfilling profession of nurse anesthesia, such as Leadership, Excel, and Achievement Program (LEAP), created by Sonya Moore, DNP, CRNA. LEAP, which currently partners with five nurse anesthesia programs, is designed to diversify the CRNA workforce by specifically reaching out to underrepresented minority students.
    • Integration of DEI into the AANA’s Faculty Stabilization Task Force focuses on the recruitment and retention of nurse anesthesia educators.
    • In 2019, the AANA Diversity Scholarship was established to help three students annually meet the financial obligations of their nurse anesthesia education. This scholarship is distributed through the AANA Foundation.
    • Outreach and exhibiting efforts to minority nursing organizations are being conducted to interest nursing students and registered nurses in nurse anesthesia as their advanced practice nursing specialty of choice.