Newswise — Rosemont, Ill. – The rapidly changing healthcare industry has created a need for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) to develop skills, transform mindsets, or adapt motives and traits to increase their impact—now and into the future. As part of its mission to support the professional advancement of its nearly 60,000 CRNA members, American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) released a white paper outlining leadership standards for the CRNA profession.

The paper, “The Ascent of the CRNA Leader,” seeks to identify the leadership characteristics CRNAs need to ascend into leadership roles and increase their influence within their organizations and among key stakeholders. Authored by AANA President Dina Velocci, DNP, CRNA, APRN, with Kae Robertson, RN, and Jaime Cocuy, senior client partners at Korn Ferry, a global leadership consulting firm with experience and research in healthcare leadership, the white paper captures a future-oriented view of leadership requirements, complied from literature reviews, AANA member surveys, focus group sessions across various stakeholders, and interviews with key CRNA industry executives.

The information gathered from this process was then applied to the Accountability – Capability – Identity (ACI) leadership model from Korn Ferry, which provides a language for talent that defines what is needed by CRNA leaders to influence, drive business results, and ultimately, succeed in a leadership role: Accountability—what leaders contribute; Capability—what leaders do and how they achieve results; and Identity—who leaders are and what makes them tick.

“Developing CRNAs as leaders at all levels within healthcare organizations is needed to influence healthcare policy and support transformational change within the healthcare industry,” said Velocci. “Each year the healthcare environment continues to face increasingly difficult demands and amplified challenges. The CRNA’s leadership development shapes the success of an organization’s patient outcomes when dealing with internal and external pressures.”

Through its research, AANA and Korn Ferry have created a leadership development program for current and aspiring CRNA leaders known as “AANA Ascend.” The AANA Ascend program aims to develop the next generation of CRNA leaders as they seek to advance in their careers and create and support transformational change in the healthcare industry.

Ascend is designed to build energy, create disruptive insights, and guide learners’ reflection and application through a six-month journey.  CRNAs completing the program will have earned new leadership insights, deep awareness, and sharp skills to improve enterprise efficiency and effectiveness.

“AANA Ascend is flexible, evidence-based education for CRNAs seeking leadership roles,” Velocci explained. “Its two programs – one for practice leadership and another for volunteer leadership—allow CRNAs to choose the route most applicable to their career plans and aspirations.”

Visit to learn more about “AANA Ascend: CRNA leadership development powered by Korn Ferry” and download the white paper.