CRNAS have much to be proud of as the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) celebrated its 90th anniversary on June 17th.
“The vision of pioneer nurse anesthetist Agatha Hodgins who, in Cleveland, Ohio, founded the National Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NANA), sought to assemble her peers to advance the science of nurse anesthesiology. NANA became the AANA, which today serves as the largest national association that champions Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs), who dedicate their careers to saving lives and easing suffering.”
“Our vision has remained unchanged for the past 90 years – to advocate for our members, our growing profession, and, most importantly, our patients,” AANA President Steven M. Sertich, CRNA, MAE, JD, Esquire, said. “CRNAs and SRNAs practice in every setting across the country, employing the latest technology and evidence-based knowledge to care for the whole patient.”
We have made great strides this past year in obtaining and providing a myriad of educational offerings. We had a very successful virtual Professional Development Educational Session which was free to our members. Please visit our updated website with more information about future free educational offerings, such as a journal club and coming soon a 3-part series of CEUS on peri-operative warming. Eagle Pharmaceuticals will also be providing Malignant Hyperthermia Education at your facility- if interested, let the members of the Professional Development Committee or any Board member know. And don’t forget to mark October16th on your calendar for our next virtual educational session and business meeting. It’ll be opportunity to meet and ask questions of our new Region 1 Director Erik Rauch, DNP, MBA, CRNA.
One of our biggest accomplishments this year has been a new law signed April 6th by our Governor that requires CRNA services to be covered and reimbursed by insurers. Health insurance carriers are now required to provide coverage for services within the CRNA scope of practice that are covered under a health plan. This law is consistent with other advanced practice registered nurses in our state. The law affects policies that go into effect or renew on or after January 1, 2022.
To help offset the cost of running our state association, we have made great efforts in securing sponsorships from various businesses. Please check out our website and if you get the opportunity, please thank them. They are Nurse Anesthesia of Maine, Maverick Anesthesia, Investment Concepts and Apex Anesthesia.
Also, a big shout out to our sponsors for our educational programs making it possible to offer them free to you, our members, this year. They are: The Army, Eagle Pharmaceuticals and Verathon.
On a more serious note, please be aware of the newly enforced Board of Nursing Rules in our state with regards to licensure. In 2018 the Maine Board of Nursing adopted a rule regarding obtaining initial licensure and re-licensure in the state of Maine. As of this summer, and effective immediately, the rules will be enforced. A message from the Maine State Board of Nursing will be sent to each practicing CRNA in our state in the next few weeks. Please be on the look out for this important message. It’ll also be available on the BON website very soon.
The Rules are as follows:
1. When you apply for an initial license or renew your license you will be asked if you’ve prescribed within the last 2 years.
2. If you have not prescribed medications in 2-5 years, you will need to provide 15 contact hours of pharmacology.
3.If you are reinstating or reactivating your license, the question will ask if you have prescribed in the last 5 years. If the answer is no, you will need to provide 45 contact hours in pharmacology.
4. The requirement in pharmacology must include any drugs than an APRN would prescribe, including opioids. Anesthesia related drugs, such as volatile agents, muscle relaxants, reversal agents, would not be meet this requirement. Only drugs that would be prescribed, such as anti-anxiety medications, antiemetics, opioids and antibiotics.
5. All new nurse anesthesia graduates will be exempt for at least 2 years, since the pharmacology requirement is included in their academic program of study.
6. There are several sites that an applicant can use to complete the necessary number of hours of study as dictated by Chapter 8 Rules and Regulations.
7. All APRNS in our state are treated the same, regardless if a practitioner has full or partial prescriptive authority.
8. No CRNA is exempt, regardless if your practice does or does not include prescribing opioids or having a DEA license.
9.You are required to complete this requirement regardless of where you practice. For example, if you practice in a large trauma one hospital or a rural or critical care hospital, the requirement is the same. If you practice in a supervisory or medical direction model, the requirement is the same.
10.Here is a site that has been approved by the Maine State BON for you to obtain the necessary pharmacology requirements at little time or cost. It is: https://www.netce.com/ce-requirements/nursepractitioner/me/. The Maine State Board of Nursing accepts courses from any provider who is ANCC accredited. For eg. You can obtain 15 credits/hours if you take the following course on this website: Palliative Care and Pain Management at the End of Life. The cost is $60. Another is Pain Management Pearls: Opioids and Culture. You can obtain 2 credits/hours for $15.00. There are many resources for you to obtain the necessary credit hours for this requirement. Such as, Pri-Med offers free pain management continuing education at pri.med.com. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers free courses on Antibiotic Prescribing and Use https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/training/continuing-education.html. You can also meet this requirement by reading journals that feature articles on the subject. Fifty minutes of participation equals 1 contact hour. You would need to submit the journal index, designate which article you read, date and provide the amount of time spent in reading the article.
11.Renewal of your license is every 2 years.
12. All APRNS in Me are required to complete in total 50 CEUs/contact hours.
The CRNA leadership is aware of the unforeseen burden this may cause many of you this year, especially those of you renewing this summer. Please understand we were blindsided regarding this requirement until just this past month and are doing all that we can to improve the situation. But until then, we must comply so that we may renew our license to practice or obtain initial licensure. Only new graduates are exempt for the first 2 years after graduation.
The MeANA Board encourages you to get involved in our state. A new slate of candidates for Director and the Executive Board positions are now open. If interested, please contact Anne Misterovich, our Leadership Identification (Nominating) Committee Chair, or any Board member.
Thank you for all you do on a daily basis for our profession and your patients. Here’s hoping you all enjoy our beautiful summer in Maine. Hope to see you at the World Congress in August in Austin, Texas and more importantly, at the next virtual educational session in October!
Happy Summer! Travel Safely!
Much Happiness as you once again see your family and friends!
Happy Spring Everyone! MeANA has some exciting news to share with its members. First Congratulations to our Legislative Advocacy Team who have been successful in passing LD 254, “An Act to Allow Certified Nurse Anesthetists to Bill for Their Services.” Our Governor signed it into law on April 6th, 2021. This bill will help level the playing field for all CRNAs in our state. This bill will require insurers to provide coverage and payment to CRNAs for our services as long as the services are within our scope of practice and covered by all insurance carriers. Direct reimbursement was already included in Maine law for other APRNs, such as Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners. This legislation aligns CRNA reimbursement with other APRNs in our state. CRNAs are now able to be reimbursed for the care that we provide! This legislative effort took a period of three years, so a big Thank You to our Legislative Advocacy Team!
Spring is a time for plans and projects and MeANA is no exception. We have capitalized on this spirit of renewal by planning our Professional Development Program hosting not one but 2 FREE virtual education sessions during the spring and fall. Our spring session is on Saturday, May 15th and our fall session is on Saturday, October 16th, so mark your calendars! Both meetings will each feature 2 well recognized speakers and include a business update. We listened to our members who enjoyed this format last October. We hope in the future to have a hybrid meeting at one of our beautiful Maine locations with the option to participate virtually for those unable to travel. Please extend kudos to our Education Committee members, Andrea Farrar and Michael Dunnington, for their industrious accomplishment. In addition, the Education Committee is working on providing additional CEUS as apart of this program by providing an online journal club featuring 6 articles on topics you, the members, identified in your needs assessment survey. A big thank you to Bev Henion for her help to pull this together. Stay tuned for news from our Education Committee about these exciting events. We hope you will take the time from your busy schedules to join us and support our association. Any donations made to our Professional Development Program would be most appreciated and can be made on our website soon. Stay tuned.
Mid-Year Assembly is here once again (April 24-25th). Raise your voice as an advocate at the state level or federal level on all the issues important to protecting and advancing CRNA practice. The AANA federal legislative advocacy team has several important and timely issues for us to discuss with our Federal legislators. Please join us in this virtual event as we speak with our Congressmen and women, Senators, and their staff on April 27th to discuss these issues. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Stacey Whittington, MS, CRNA, our MeANA Federal Political Director (FDP) at email@example.com for further information.
On April 24th & 25th, the Virtual Mid-Year Assembly conference will host multiple sessions. These sessions are designed to prepare CRNAs and SRNAs to effectively advocate for protecting and advancing CRNA practice and reimbursement You can register to attend through the AANA website. Be sure to follow AANA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn to learn more and to register. And our MeANA website and social media sites as well!
On Tuesday, April 27th, from 8-10 p.m., join the CRNA-PAC for a fun interactive virtual murder mystery. This “Clue” themed murder mystery will include a virtual crime scene, and attendees will solve puzzles and put together evidence for a chance to help their team in best or worst detectives of the night. There will also be a prize for best dressed, so come dressed as your favorite Clue character for a chance to win! Tickets are $100 for CRNAs and $25 for SRNAs.
As always, the MeANA Board wishes its members good will and gratitude for all you do to keep our patients safe while providing the highest quality anesthesia to our citizens. Your professionalism and dedication to our profession makes our ability to advocate for you, all the easier. Thank you!
Hope to see you all virtually very soon.
On behalf of the entire MeANA Board, we’d like to wish all of our loyal and hardworking members a healthy, happy holiday season and a joyous New Year.
As we transition into the new year, we are filled with relief with the coming of the vaccine to frontline health care professionals. We can finally start to see a glimmer of hope and peace of mind. 2020 has almost certainly been one of the hardest years health care professionals have faced in our lifetimes, you have all made sacrifices and hard choices. CRNAs are respected and valued in our state because of you!
Your MeANA Board is proud of Maine CRNAs and we are grateful to have this opportunity to serve you and make those accomplishments known. And it’s time to take a moment to acknowledge all that we have done and continue to do to keep ourselves, our patients and our families safe.
We encourage you to celebrate your courage, heroism, and hard work this past year during Nurse Anesthesia week, January 24-30th. We would love to hear how each of you have celebrated at your facilities. Send pictures to our webmaster Erin Foley, DNAP, CRNA, APRN to post them on our social media pages and website. Each of you deserve a special recognition for all that you have done and continue to do.
MeANA is celebrating nurse anesthesia week by helping those who are food insecure in our communities through the Good Shepherd organization. We will be oﬀering a silent auction featuring homemade craft items made by our very own CRNAs. The online auction will be available during Nurse Anesthesia week until February 14th. If you are crafty or know of someone who is and would like to make a handcrafted item, please let the PR Committee know. This is our way of showing we care. Please go to our MeANA website in a few weeks to check it out and lend your support. Monetary donations are also accepted.
We resolve to be there 24/7 for you! Your Board is resolved to continue working on behalf of its members as we face the coming year’s legislative and health care challenges. Stay tuned……
Please continue to be safe and protect yourselves, your patients and your families. We want to hear about your eﬀorts so that we can better represent you! Thank you for all that you have done in the past year and will continue to do this coming year.
New is the year, new are the hopes, new is our resolution to continue to do our best for you! On behalf of the MeANA Board we wish each of you health, happiness and prosperity in the new year.
Susan, Andrew, Seth, Paul, Kathy, Andrea, Joe, Lisa, Max and Erin