Last month, University of Arizona College of Nursing Doctor of Nursing Practice Nurse Anesthetist Program Administrator Kristie Hoch, DNP, CRNA was elected Region 5 Director for the American Association of Nurses Anesthetists (AANA). One of four candidates for the position, Dr. Hoch received the lion’s share of votes from the Region’s membership, which encompasses 12 western U.S. states and is the largest region represented by the AANA.
Founded in 1931, the AANA is the professional association representing nearly 53,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists nationwide. The AANA promotes education and practice standards and guidelines, and provides consultation to both private and governmental entities regarding nurse anesthetists and their practice. The AANA Foundation supports the profession by awarding education and research grants to students, faculty and practicing CRNAs.
"I’ve walked in their shoes and I’ve talked their talk, whether they’ve been talking to a surgeon in an operating room, a legislator in a state house, or a clinical preceptor as an educator. Having been in each of those fields, I know what that is. That experience is a key to what I bring to the table.”~ Kristie Hoch, DNP, CRNA
Though this is her first national office in the AANA, Dr. Hoch has made her leadership presence known by serving as an AANA State President as well as on the AANA Arizona Board. A natural-born leader and a true people person, she’s excited about the opportunities serving as Director will bring not only to her profession at large, but to Arizona Nursing’s DNP-NA program. Fulfilling her campaign promises is her first priority and she is ready and raring to go. “Advanced Practice Nurses bring a lot to the table and we haven’t always been recognized for what we do and how we can do it. CRNAs are the sole anesthesia providers in almost 100% of rural America, so we ensure access to care. I want people to know that.”
Asked about the skills she brings to the job, she says, “My greatest strength is my ability to listen. I’ve learned that if you sit quietly, members will tell you what their concerns are and it may be something that you can help them with and support them with and it may be something that you have to research on your own. I’ve walked in their shoes and I’ve talked their talk, whether they’ve been talking to a surgeon in an operating room, a legislator in a state house, or a clinical preceptor as an educator. Having been in each of those fields, I know what that is. That experience is a key to what I bring to the table.”
As Dr. Hoch works to improve communication between the national association and each of the state associations, she will also continue to bring positive attention to Arizona Nursing’s Nurse Anesthesia program. Since she joined the College’s faculty, her stewardship has helped build enrollment in the program. “Part of that is that people in the national association know who I am,” she says, noting that whenever she brings a stack of business cards to meetings or conferences, she returns empty-handed. “It’s going to mean a lot more work but it’ll be worth it, and it will solidify a lot of things that I want to do with Nurse Anesthesia, our program and our profession.”
It’s also her meaningful connection with students that has led Dr. Hoch on her path to success. As an educator, she is keenly aware that she is a gatekeeper for her profession. She may have her eye on the day-to-day big picture for Region 5 CRNAs, but she is keenly invested in the future of her profession. “I want to instill the future of leadership in our students,” she says. “I want them to understand that in our profession it takes more than being able to provide a quality anesthetic. I also want them to be leaders in our profession because somebody needs to take this torch and ensure our future.”