Heather J. Rankin for AANA Director Region 7

Heather J. Rankin for AANA Director Region 7

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


This question was posed: To all AANA BOD candidates: Communication is a 2 way street. What do you plan to do to improve relations and communication with the NBCRNA other than threaten to replace them, since it is highly unlikely that the AANA has the financial means to replace the NBCRNA?

 If you really are set on threatening replacement, what is your plan to pay for such a costly endeavor?

My response:
 Thanks for the question.  From my position statement: The AANA must have positive, collaborative relationships with our certifying and accrediting bodies with reasonable and appropriate representation; the secrecy between the groups must disappear.  The NBCRNA CPC implementation has been extremely controversial, and I experienced the negative membership feedback in Alabama first hand as President when the rollout was mishandled.  Years later, there still is not a fully constructed program.  I believe that the not-for-profit NBCRNA and its vast reserves of hard-earned money from AANA members must keep testing costs low, ensure ease of accessibility to testing, and offer the practice tutorials for free. 

In addition to those thoughts, we must have at least 2 members on the NBCRNA BOD.  This gives us at least the option to put forth a motion and one to second. But, we also need a liaison to the NBCRNA BOD as well.  Why – so that we have someone who is not bound by a confidentiality agreement to share information to the AANA BOD and members.  As the CPC program continues to be constructed, we must have transparency to the AANA members – the reason the NBCRNA has millions of dollars – with regards to the testing and all that goes with the testing.

The reason I don’t see the AANA severing ties with the NBCRNA today is not because of the money.  It is because of the logistics behind credentialing and recredentialing.  I am due to recertify this year.  If we cut ties with the NBCRNA, is there someone prepared to recertify me right now?  How about the students who are graduating?  Who will administer their certification test today?  I feel that options have been looked at, but I don’t know that a full plan is ready to be place for the AANA to just walk away at this point.  However, if we do not have AANA representation on both the NBCRNA BOD and as liaison(s), or if the current leadership and staff at the NBCRNA continues to be unreceptive to the requests and needs of the AANA, it will be time to cut ties.

With regards to the CPC, though I disagree with the rollout of the program, I am in favor of recertification exam.  Of the three anesthesia providers, at this time we are the only group without a recertification exam.  I see this as only strengthening our practice.   As a pediatric practitioner, I have voiced my opinion to the NBCRNA on thoughts to those in specialty practice.  We need to ensure the questions truly to apply to CRNAs in every setting. 

Please visit me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherRankinforAANA
I look forward to hearing from you throughout this campaign!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I have been blessed to work with many fantastic CRNAs throughout the years since starting my CRNA program, but the most important CRNA in my life is my mom!  She has taught me so much over the years, about much more than anesthesia.  Growing up, the AANA, the profession, and the professionalism were instilled in my from the very beginning.  I look forward to the opportunity to continue growing these values in our organization as a Candidate for Director Region 7.  I ask for your support.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


A great process we have in place and one that needs to keep growing - mentorship! The Public Relations Committee sponsors a mentorship program at MidYear Assembly each year - a great way to show students about our great Association. So proud to have been a part of this program the past few years!  I encourage everyone to mentor not only students, but other CRNAs and encourage them to get involved in their state association. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Electronic Media

Questions asked about mobile voting and electronic attendance at meetings:  First, how can we use electronic media or mobile devices to increase voting?  Second, what can be done to support members who cannot attend meetings and increase involvement?
With regards to the first question, you make an important point regarding the decline in voting since it has become electronic.  We are facing a unique time in our profession where there are 4 different generations engaged.  For instance, my mother is a newly retired CRNA.  She is not the most skilled with electronic voting and needs some coaching through the websites to get her where she needs to be to actually vote, but as a member of our Association for over 35 years, she knows the importance of voting.  The newer generation can easily get online but does not see how the vote affects them.  We have seen an election won in the past year by one vote – so yes – every vote literally does count.
         So, what do we do?  I think we need to poll a few distinct groups, based on years out of school.  We need to poll our new grads, we need to know what is important to those who have been out 10 years, 20 years, what about Past Presidents and BOD members?   With healthcare reform, will we light a fire so to say under less active members to see the importance of voting for our national board members and other representatives?  I hope so!  If their jobs or salaries are challenged or threatened, who will these people turn to for help?  Unfortunately it seems that some will not act unless their own norm is challenged.  We also need to make sure that our members are aware that they can mobile vote now through their smartphone and tablets as Joe Lesser mentioned.

Second, I believe we need to explore ways to increase membership attendance at meetings.
From my position statement: “With work commitments, money constraints, and family matters often making it difficult for CRNAs to travel to the Annual Meeting, we need to explore ways to virtually attend a meeting where important discussion and votes occur. “   I believe there needs to be a better way to have more attendance at the business meeting than just those who can physically be at the meeting.  We saw a peak attendance last year for the business meeting because a very important vote occurred, however there were many other members who were unable to physically attend due to the reasons mentioned above (and the amendment passed by less than 2 votes!).  There were members who spent a great deal of money just to be at the business meeting, only to turn around and catch a flight right back out.  We need a better way. 

                There are many things to consider when we look at electronic media and virtually being present at a meeting.  Members have asked for streaming of the business meeting – we need to consider and perform a cost analysis.  There is also a security element that needs a discussion.  Perhaps we can have an online forum, like the candidate forum on the AANA website, where there remarks and discussions about the proposed bylaw amendments and resolutions can be made before the meeting (so these important dialogs can be heard first) then a virtually vote made at “meeting time” whether you are able to physically be present at the meeting or not.

                In addition, we need to explore a way to pass amendments and resolutions other than a once a year meeting.  With healthcare as dynamic as it is now, our Association needs to be opportunity to be dynamic as well if needed.  Thank you for your question.  I look forward to more discussion on this topic.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Heather J. Rankin for AANA Director Region 7

For the past 7 years I have been honored to serve the Alabama Association of Nurse Anesthetists on the Board of Directors and on various Committees.  Thank you for the nomination to the AANA Board of Directors for Director Region 7.  I am humbled and look forward to the opportunity to serve our Region and nation in the future.

A little bit of background on myself: I am a full time clinician working in Birmingham, Alabama.  I have worked in the area of pediatrics for the last 8 years.   My service to the ALANA Board of Directors began in 2007 to the position of Central Director.  Two years later I was elected to President-elect, and I served my President year 2010-11.  Since then I have served on various ALANA Committees and the AANA Public Relations Committee.  I am currently chairing the AANA PR Committee for the second year in a row.

I have learned a lot about our profession along the way, and I have a more unique perspective being around a fantastic CRNA my entire life - my mom.  I grew up engrossed in this profession, and seeing how great it was growing up, chose to pursue the profession for myself and our family.  My husband, family, and friends have been a huge support to me along the way with my service to our great profession.  I look forward to serving the AANA and CRNAs across the nation in the coming years!

Please let me know the issues you feel are important as a CRNA.  I welcome you questions and feedback on this site.  We are in this profession together, and I thank you in advance for your support of Heather J. Rankin for AANA Director Region 7!