DANA Student Essays
SRNAs from Drexel University at the 2018 AANA Annual Meeting. Thank you to all of the SRNAs for their interest and participation in AANA events. Thank you also to the many individual CRNAs for their Sponsorships and Support of SRNAs, the Future of our profession.
Olga Iakovenko - Drexel University
2023 Mid-Year Assembly:
May 3, 2023
My name is Olga Iakovenko. I am an SRNA at Drexel University, training at Christiana Hospital.
I am writing this email to thank Delaware Association of Nurse Anesthetists for welcoming me at the Mid-Year Assembly.
It can be intimidating and overwhelming attending the conference as a student. Your DANA counterparts welcomed me warmly throughout the conference and guided me by facilitating networking opportunities as I tried to make connections with the leaders of our profession.
Specifically Ronald Costaldo, Carrie Kenney, Suzanne Ariza, Tim Holleran, Marshall Colbert and Jacqueline Mainwaring kindly introduced me to prominent leaders in CRNA community and guided my conversations about relevant practice issues. I am excited to learn and grow in this profession using the knowledge and connections we have gained during our weekend in Washigton DC.
I hope to contribute as a student and share with peers the importance of hard work of AANA leaders who advocate for CRNA practice.
Thank you for all the support to students like me that DANA continues to provide generously.
Olga Iakovenko BSN, RN, CCRN
Drexel University Student Nurse Anesthetist
Andrea Mazzei - Jefferson University
July 23, 2020
Dear DANA Board of Directors,
Thank you for granting me the opportunity to serve as the DANA Student Liaison. My time with DANA has been so influential and beneficial to my journey as a SRNA earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Participating in DANA has enabled me to gain invaluable experience with professional advocacy at both the state and national levels. These experiences have provided a unique lens through which I view and understand my DNP coursework, enhancing my learning.
Delaware Nurse Anesthetists are so fortunate to have such passionate, highly engaged representatives advocating for the protection and advancement of their profession. I am so grateful to have witnessed you all in action as you carried out this important work. Inspired by your political activism and dedication, I plan to become an active member of NJANA as a new graduate working in South Jersey. Thank you for all that you have contributed to my personal and professional development. I have always felt so welcomed, encouraged, supported, and empowered by each of you. I am so proud to be joining a profession comprised of wonderful people like all of you!
With immense gratitude, respect & admiration,
Sarah Ashby, SRNA - Villanova University
2018 Mid-Year Assembly:
As a student going into AANA Mid-Year Assembly 2018, I had many questions about what it was all about. What is a PAC and why should I donate to it? How does lobbying for certain bills/ issues at the state and national level affect me and the nurse anesthetist profession? Mid-Year Assembly deemed to be a great learning experience, and I left there feeling empowered to do more for the nurse anesthetist profession.
Our profession can feel direct impact from decisions made politically. Who knew? We have an amazing national organization who continuously advocates for us. Adequately building relationships with our representatives and congressmen is imperative to provide them with honest information resulting in their support in our profession. Keeping yourself informed of current issues, supporting the state and national PAC, getting involved at the state level are only a few ways to continue to fight for our great profession. I left MYA wanting to know more; wanting to do more.
Megan Harkins, SRNA - Drexel University
2018 Mid-Year Assembly:
I had the opportunity to attend the AANA Midyear Assembly in Washington, DC in 2018 through the generous sponsorship of the Delaware AANA board. I had an amazing experience and encourage all students to attend at least one conference in order to meet other students from across the country as well as become more familiar with current issues facing our future profession.
I was able to meet numerous local SRNAs and CRNAs as well as SRNAs from across almost all fifty states at the AANA Mid-year assembly. It was nice to compare programs and clinical situations and learn about the level of practice independence in each state. Each CRNA I met had nothing but positive words to say about the profession. The CRNA community felt like a close-knit family where everyone wants to help each other succeed.
My favorite experience from the Mid-Year Assembly was the ability to meet with the Congressional staff. I was nervous entering uncharted territory, but after watching the experienced members of the DANA board build relationships and speak about issues facing the CRNA profession, I felt inspired. The biggest lesson I learned was to become involved politically and support the people who want to move the profession forward. Compared to other professions, there is a limited number of CRNAs and SRNAs. Therefore, everyone should be aware and support the amazing work each state board, the AANA leaders and the federal PAC do in order to protect and move the profession forward.
Rich Mensik, SRNA - Villanova University
2018 Mid-Year Assemby:
The opportunity to join the Delaware Association of Nurse Anesthetists (DANA) efforts during the American Associations of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Mid-Year Assembly in Washington D.C. was an exhilarating and enlightening one. It is quite impressive to see your professional organization as well as all the state chapters converge on Washington D.C. for one common goal. The protection and advancement of our profession as nurse anesthesia providers. They achieved this by preparing us how to effectively advocate on Capitol Hill. Coordinated communication across states and regions to help bring a standardized and effective message. All while helping to develop our professional advocacy skills and healthcare policy understanding to help us become leaders for not only today but tomorrow as well.
I left not only feeling empowered but with a greater understanding of our professions successes and future roadblocks to address, as well as a greater grasp on the importance of my own abilities to help make change. Sitting in the offices of our representatives on capitol hill, getting to speak with our elected officials and their staff, as well as explaining to them what a nurse anesthetist was and why what we do is so important gave me a sense of pride. I was not only advocating for my profession and trying to facilitate change but I was participating in one of the world’s greatest experiments in the world, our republic. One other thing of note that I did find interesting during my time at the mid-year assembly, after talking to CRNAs and SRNAs from other states, I quickly found that there are discrepancies that our profession faces in other areas of the United States that we here in Delaware have been very fortunate enjoy, such as advanced practice status and independent practice rights. Even in states as close as Pennsylvania, those same rights are not afforded to our peers. First off, this is not only a testament to the DANA’s hard work and success in the state of Delaware, but it only shows the importance of the continued fight we have at not only the national level, but our backyard as well.
Miriam Thorne, SRNA, Drexel University
2018 Mid-Year Assembly:
So grateful to DANA for sponsoring me as a student to attend the AANA midyear assembly in Washington DC. It was inspiring to see such a strong group of individuals so passionate about what they do. I am proud to be entering this awesome career that has evolved to be such a well respected profession thanks to the work of AANA. I look forward to continuing my studies and supporting the AANA to uphold its strength and influence.
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