Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
"Supporting Quality Assessment and Improvement in Nurse Anesthesia Education"
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COA Director - CRNA Educator

From the Educator's Perspective

Sass Elisha is currently employed in southern California by Kaiser Permanente. He is the assistant director for clinical education for the Kaiser Permanente School of Nurse Anesthesia (KPSAN) program. “Being a clinician, educator and administrator has allowed me to gain different perspectives into the positive roles that CRNAs play in our healthcare system as well as insight to the challenges that lie ahead.” Sass has been a nurse anesthetist for seventeen years. He is actively involved in scholarly activities such as being the editor of two nurse anesthesia textbooks, Case Studies in Nurse Anesthesia and Critical Events in Anesthesia: A Clinical Guide for Nurse Anesthetists, speaking at national and state association meetings, contributing to anesthesia textbooks, and writing and reviewing articles for the AANA Journal. He has earned his Bachelor’s degree in nursing from California State University Long Beach (CSULB), Master’s degree in nursing from CSULB and concentration in nurse anesthesia from KPSAN, and doctoral degree in education-concentration organizational leadership from Pepperdine University.
“I was motivated to become an educator member of the board of directors for the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs after being involved with the accreditation process. I learned so much by participating in on-site reviews of nurse anesthesia programs and as a result, I wanted to continue to serve our programs in a different capacity.” Sass admits that even as a educator, he did not fully appreciate the scope of the efforts of the COA. He believes that the work done by the COA not only monitors our educational infrastructure to help insure the highest academic and clinical standards for student registered nurse anesthetists, but also protects patients and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) by enforcing our standards. “The COA is the benchmark of accreditation for advanced practice nurses and the work that I have the privilege to help achieve will position CRNAs for future success.