• Featured News

  • Happy Nurse Anesthetist Week 2012

    Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) at a Glance

    Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States for nearly 150 years.

    The credential CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) came into existence in 1956. CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer more than 32 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) 2010 Practice Profile Survey.

    CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in these medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, and trauma stabilization services. In some states, CRNAs are the sole providers in nearly 100 percent of the rural hospitals.

    According to a 1999 report from the Institute of Medicine, anesthesia care is nearly 50 times safer than it was in the early 1980s. Numerous outcomes studies have demonstrated that there is no difference in the quality of care provided by CRNAs and their physician counterparts.*

    CRNAs provide anesthesia in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals. When anesthesia is administered by a nurse anesthetist, it is recognized as the practice of nursing; when administered by an anesthesiologist, it is recognized as the practice of medicine. Regardless of whether their educational background is in nursing or medicine, all anesthesia professionals give anesthesia the same way.

    As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs practice with a high degree of autonomy and professional respect. They carry a heavy load of responsibility and are compensated accordingly.

    CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and U.S. military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities.

    Nurse anesthetists have been the main providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel on the front lines since WWI, including current conflicts in the Middle East. Nurses first provided anesthesia to wounded soldiers during the Civil War.

    Managed care plans recognize CRNAs for providing high-quality anesthesia care with reduced expense to patients and insurance companies. The cost-efficiency of CRNAs helps control escalating healthcare costs.
    In 2001, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) changed the federal physician supervision rule for nurse anesthetists to allow state governors to opt out of this facility reimbursement requirement (which applies to hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers) by meeting three criteria: 1) consult the state boards of medicine and nursing about issues related to access to and the quality of anesthesia services in the state, 2) determine that opting out is consistent with state law, and 3) determine that opting out is in the best interests of the state’s citizens. To date, 16 states have opted out of the federal supervision requirement, most recently Colorado (September 2010). Additional states do not have supervision requirements in state law and are eligible to opt out should the governors elect to do so.

    Nationally, the average 2009 malpractice premium for self-employed CRNAs was 33 percent lower than in 1988 (62 percent lower when adjusted for inflation).

    Legislation passed by Congress in 1986 made nurse anesthetists the first nursing specialty to be accorded direct reimbursement rights under the Medicare program.

    More than 44,000 of the nation’s nurse anesthetists (including CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists) are members of the AANA (or, greater than 90 percent). Approximately 41 percent of nurse anesthetists are men, compared with less than 10 percent of nursing as a whole.

    Education and experience required to become a CRNA include:
    • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other appropriate baccalaureate degree.
    • A current license as a registered nurse.
    • At least one year of experience as a registered nurse in an acute care setting.
    • Graduation with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program. As of August , 2011 there were 112 nurse anesthesia programs in the United States utilizing approximately 2,450 approved clinical sites. These programs range from 24-36 months, depending upon university requirements. All programs include clinical training in university-based or large community hospitals.
    • Pass the national certification examination following graduation.
    In order to be recertified, CRNAs must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education every two years, document substantial anesthesia practice, maintain current state licensure, and certify that they have not developed any conditions that could adversely affect their ability to practice anesthesia.

    *To receive a copy of Quality of Care in Anesthesia, please call (847) 692-7050, or visit the AANA website.
  • goto new posts

  • Core Concepts Review Class

  • Recent Forum Posts


    Wakeup plans gone awry.

    Bayoufrogg just described my technique almost exactly. There are many different acceptable techniques though; just use what works for you.

    FORANE 3 Minutes Ago Go to last post

    Wakeup plans gone awry.

    No versed. Volatile agent/fentanyl for maintenance. Dilaudid towards emergence. Esmolol and lidocaine at emergence. Utilize appropriate recruitment

    bayoufrogg 29 Minutes Ago Go to last post

    Wakeup plans gone awry.

    This is what I do - des and remi, I run the remi around 0.2 during the case and then down to 0.05 to get them breathing. Smooth, easy technique IMO.

    J-Dubya 31 Minutes Ago Go to last post

    tonsillectomy hemorrhages


    Old school friend of mine died a few years ago after his T&A. Crazy

    bettermj 1 Hour Ago Go to last post

    Wakeup plans gone awry.

    Remi + gas or propofol sounds good here. Turn the remi to 0.05mcg/kg/min at start of closure and get the prop and gas off.
    +/- 100mg lidocaine

    JoshCRNA 1 Hour Ago Go to last post
  • Recent Blog Posts


    study plan for boards

    Hello. I'm in the process of making a 6 week study plan/calendar for boards. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions or willing to share their calendar in order to stay on top of schedule?...

    Avery 3 Days Ago
  • Latest files

  • Upcoming Events

  • Site Sponsors

More Information