CRNA Week Spotlight: Kris Rohde

by Danielle Beebe
January 23, 2019

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Editor’s Note: National Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Week is Sunday, January 20, through Saturday, January 26. To celebrate, the Department of Anesthesiology is featuring various CRNAs with unique personal and professional stories.
It only took CRNA Kris Rohde a year to go charging into the world of exercise science, and then charging right back out toward nursing.
The self-described "real world" office setting of desks and computer screens just wasn’t for her. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing found a pace that matched her energy and drive within. Rohde’s nursing career began in Pediatric Intensive Care Units in Omaha and California.
"I always loved working as an ICU nurse," she said. "I enjoyed the high acuity patients, the hands-on skills, and learning all about the patient’s pathophysiology."
Looking to challenge herself further, Rohde researched Advanced Practice Registered Nurses. A close friend, who was also pursuing CRNA school, helped narrow her focus to the roles of CRNA and nurse practitioner.
"It’s something that fit my love of hands-on care, technical skills, and it would be challenging for me," Rohde said. "It also scared me when I saw how much responsibility fell on the shoulders of a CRNA. I decided that I should give it a shot, and I actually applied to both CRNA school and Nurse Practitioner school at the same time."
Rohde left her destiny in the hands of fate. In the meantime, she figured she should gain experience with adult patients. She returned to Omaha and worked in Creighton’s ICU. When the fateful day came and Rohde was accepted to both programs, the decision had become a no brainer. The aspects of technology, pharmacology and anatomy associated with being a CRNA made it a perfect fit.
Now Rohde leads Nebraska’s CRNAs as president of the Nebraska Association of Nurse Anesthetists. Responsibilities include attending two national meetings per year, leadership and educational conferences, over sight of various committees, career fairs, representing CRNAs in meetings with state legislators, career fair recruitment and more.
"I am a bit of a social butterfly, so I love talking to people and advocating for our profession," Rohde said. "That probably isn’t surprising to anyone who knows me. It is a busy job, it takes me away from my family, but I love doing what I do and I feel as if this is my way of giving back to the community and to the people who were my mentors."
When Rohde’s term as president is over, she hopes to focus her attention on volunteering for healthcare mission trips abroad, involvement in hospital committees, and increasing the awareness of CRNAs.
"The CRNAs at Nebraska Medicine are the best in the city," she said. "They are smart, independent, and hard working. I have learned so much from my peers in the last four years. I’m very proud to be associated with such a fantastic group of people."