Welcome to DCANA

Welcome to our new website! Here’s a little bit about who we are…


The mission of the District of Columbia Association of Nurse Anesthetists (DCANA) is to advance patient safety and care, practice excellence, and its members’ profession at the local level.


This first meeting of the DCANA met at the home of Bernice Pierce CRNA in Washington DC where they began the work which resulted in the 42nd affiliate to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists on May 16, 1956. The first bylaws were reviewed and approved by AANA in 1956. DCANA has always been a small organization with the membership ranging from 35 to 50 CRNA members over the years. The officers are elected annually by the membership and because of the small membership these officers have often been elected for several terms.

The DCANA Board of Directors has been made up of CRNAs providing leadership for our profession both locally and nationally since the founding of the organization. The first and founding President was Bernice Pierce CRNA who had the vision for the organization and developed its foundation. Callie Smith CRNA who was first President in 1965 was instrumental in keeping the organization viable by updating the bylaws and working with local organizations such as the Board of Nursing to protect the rights of CRNAs in the District of Columbia. As a result the District of Columbia has one of the strongest Nurse Practice Act legislation allowing for independent practice by CRNAs. Jan Mannino CRNA, JD was first President of DCANA in 1972 and went on to become AANA President in 1988 where she was instrumental in changing legislation nationally to allow for direct Medicare billing for CRNA services. Jane McCarthy CRNA, PhD, FAAN was first DCANA President in 1987 and went on to serve on the AANA Board of Directors from 2000-2002. She also founded the Nurse Anesthesia educational programs at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD in 1992 and the University of Maryland Nurse Anesthesia Program in Baltimore, MD in 2004. Donna Jasinski CRNA, PhD first served as DCANA Secretary/Treasurer in 1993 and was the founding director of the Georgetown University Nurse Anesthesia Program which began in 1994. John McDonough CRNA, EdD, ARNP was first President of DCANA in 1996 and went on to found the nurse anesthesia programs at Florida International University and the University of North Florida.

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