NBCRNA Announces CEO Retirement and Succession Plan 

After 15 Years Leading the NBCRNA, Karen Plaus, PhD, CRNA, FAAN, CAE, to Retire August 2021; 

Board Initiates Search for Successor 

CHICAGO, September 29, 2020 – The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) today announced that Karen Plaus, PhD, CRNA, FAAN, CAE, plans to retire as CEO in August 2021 after a 15-year career with the organization. The Board of Directors has initiated its CEO succession plan and Dr. Plaus will remain in her current role as CEO through the transition. 

Dr. Plaus said, "After a 15-year career leading the NBCRNA through incorporation and the launch of a new certification renewal program, among other advancements, I am confident that it is the right time to transition the organization to its next generation of leadership. Serving NBCRNA alongside our growing staff, Board of Directors, the hundreds of volunteers, and on behalf of the over 55,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, has been my great privilege and the highlight of my professional career. I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished to position NBCRNA as the leader in advanced practice nurse credentialing. As we look to transition to the next chapter in 2021, I have great confidence in the strength of our team and the opportunity ahead for NBCRNA. I am committed to supporting a seamless transition for all of our stakeholders." 

NBCRNA Board of Directors President Terry Wicks, DNP, MHS, CRNA, said, “On behalf of our entire Board and NBCRNA staff, I want to thank Karen for her leadership, commitment and countless contributions to the NBCRNA and to the CRNA profession over the course of her distinguished 42-year career as a mentor, educator, presenter and author. Under her guidance and stewardship, NBCRNA has built on the strong foundation of the CRNA credential, and today, the organization is well positioned as a leader in the credentialing field with the right strategy in place to make continued inroads and further enhance what the CRNA credential stands for in the broader health care field. The board is committed to conducting a thorough and comprehensive search to identify the best candidate to serve as our next CEO. We know Karen will continue to be a strong, committed leader over the coming months and during this leadership transition, and we wish her all the best in her retirement.” 

Incoming NBCRNA Board President Kevin Driscoll, DNP, MSN, CRNA, will appoint a Succession Committee to assist in the search for the next leader of the organization, expected to begin November 2020. The NBCRNA will also select an executive search firm to support this process.  

The NBCRNA will continue to focus on its initial certification and certification renewal programs, supported by the dedicated NBCRNA staff, as the search process proceeds. 


About the NBCRNA 

Based in Chicago, the NBCRNA is the nation’s certifying body for initial, continued, and subspecialty board certification of the more than 55,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). Our primary responsibility is to guard the well-being of the public by seeking to ensure that those who secure the CRNA credential have the necessary knowledge and skills to practice safely and effectively. We accomplish our mission through the development and implementation of credentialing programs that support lifelong learning among nurse anesthetists. For more information about the NBCRNA, please visit www.nbcrna.com.  

For a PDF version of this press release, click here.