Newswise — PARK RIDGE, Ill. (AANA)Leaders of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) are encouraging the president-elect to appoint nurses to lead government agencies in an effort to move our nation forward during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a statement issued by AANA President Steven M. Sertich, CRNA, MAE, JD: 

The Biden Administration will take office amid a nearly unimaginable set of crises, with a global pandemic and economic devastation at the top of the list. 

The arduous process of choosing not only the president’s cabinet, but thousands of appointees to staff government agencies to manage these crises, has now begun. As AANA president, I would entreat the president-elect to consider appointing nurses to serve on the COVID-19 task force and to lead government agencies to move our nation forward. 

This year has shown a light on the value of the nursing professionNurses, particularly Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)have walked resolutely into danger to care for our nation’s patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

CRNAs offer invaluable insight and experience in issues throughout the healthcare spectrum, and our governmental institutions need every bit of their expertise. Listen to them. Hear them. Bring them into the decision-making process. 

Nurses practice in every conceivable setting, caring for every patient population, throughout our nation’s healthcare system. They are caregivers, decision makers, innovators, educators, researchers, counselors, administrators, and business owners. Now, as throughout our nation’s history, nurses serve our country by caring for America’s active-duty military members as well our veterans. 

The problems facing the nation and the new administration are not just abstractions or news headlines to America’s nurses. They see firsthand the results of racism and inequality, poverty, violence, substance abuse, unequal education, and inadequate mental healthcare. When it comes to tackling these issues, nurses bring intimate knowledge and problem-solving experienceas well as the will and dedication to serve their country and fellow citizens.  

President-elect Biden and his administration face crises that may seem daunting and even insurmountable now, but America has come through worse times better and stronger. Now is the time that we need the smartest, bravest, hardest working, and most selfless Americans to give their best to our nation by serving in governmental positions.   

Representing over 57,000 of America’s CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists, I ask the new administration, why not look among the backbone of America’s healthcare system? Why not choose members of America’s most trusted professionIf you are looking for America’s best and brightest to serve at your side, choose a nurse.