Enhancing Leadership Engagement through an NCANA Doctoral LEAD Scholarship Program


The North Carolina Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NCANA) lacks membership engagement and leadership recruitment as evidenced by a history of unopposed ballots and the board of directors providing dual responsibilities as committee chairs. In addition, the NCANA has lacked a structured scholarship pathway to engage members and student members in NCANA leadership roles.


To provide a structured guideline that supports financial assistance linked with a customized leadership development opportunity to selected NCANA members and student members matriculated in a doctoral degree program. The LEAD Scholarship Program aims to prepare and inspire doctoral students to become NCANA leaders who are ready to advocate for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), the association, and our profession.


By investing in members’ educational pursuits, the association is investing in the future of our organization and profession by growing new leaders who are prepared for future governance. This is significant because the NCANA needs a succession of leaders who are prepared to advocate for and negotiate through the complex and dynamic educational, regulatory, legal, and political landscapes that impact North Carolina’s CRNAs.


A detailed guideline provides a structured pathway for establishing, maintaining, and promoting the NCANA Doctoral LEAD (Leadership, Education and Development) Scholarship Program. Funds will be routed through the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Foundation to ensure donations will be tax deductible. Additionally, the AANA Foundation will manage all student applications, recipient selection, and fund allocations. The NCANAis tasked with providing the initial financial resource of two $3,000.00 awards, attracting student applicants, and recruiting donors for the LEAD scholarship. A detailed financial planisdesigned for growth and sustainability through member donations and endowment opportunities. A marketing plan provides a comprehensive strategy to recruit donors and attract student applicants via website ads, virtual events, and social media. The guideline also includes a LEAD scholarship recipient engagement process thatoffers customized leadership training experiences via engagement in NCANA leadership roles. The LEAD scholarship program will be evaluated via a specifically designed annual survey given to recipients to measure leadership and professional outcomes for five (5) consecutive years.