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Nurse anesthetist

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nurse anesthetist
Activity sectors
Anesthesia, nursing
CompetenciesAdministration of anesthetics and the elimination of pain
Education required
Varies by country
Fields of

A nurse anesthetist is an advanced practice nurse who administers anesthesia for surgery or other medical procedures. They are involved in the administration of anesthesia in a majority of countries, with varying levels of autonomy.

A survey published in 1996 reported that there were 107 countries where nurses administer anesthesia in some form, and a further nine countries where nurses act as assistants in the administration of anesthesia.[1] Depending on the local system of healthcare, they may participate only during the operation itself, or may also be involved before and after (for preanesthetic assessment and immediate postoperative management).[2] In some systems nurse anesthetists must provide anesthesia under the supervision of anesthesiologists, while elsewhere they provide anesthesia independently.[2]

The International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists was established in 1989 as a forum for developing standards of education, practice, and a code of ethics.[3] Delegates from 35 member countries participate in a World Congress every few years.

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In the United States

In the United States, nurse anesthetists use the term "Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist" (CRNA) and are issued a master's (2 years of training) or doctorate (3 years of training) degree.[4] CRNAs account for approximately half of the anesthesia providers in the United States and are the main providers of anesthesia in rural America, U.S. military, Veteran’s Administration, medically undeserved communities, and to maternity patients. 49,000+ nurse anesthetists administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients each year.[5] The CRNA credential came into existence in 1956 and approximately 40% of nurse anesthetists are male.[6]

Scope of practice limitations and practitioner oversight requirements vary between healthcare facility and state, with 20 states and Guam granting complete autonomy as of 2021.[7] In states that have opted out of supervision, the Joint Commission and CMS recognize CRNAs as licensed independent practitioners.[8] In states requiring supervision, CRNAs have liability separate from supervising practitioners and are able to administer anesthesia independently of anesthesiologists.[9][10][11][12]

Some CRNAs use the title nurse anesthesiologist as a synonym for nurse anesthetist; groups representing anesthesiologists and other medical doctors, such as the American Medical Association and American Society of Anesthesiologists, oppose the use of this phrase to describe CRNAs and call it misleading.[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ McAuliffe, M. S; Henry, B (1996). "Countries where anesthesia is administered by nurses". AANA Journal. 64 (5): 469–79. PMID 9124030.
  2. ^ a b McAuliffe, M. S; Henry, B (1998). "Survey of nurse anesthesia practice, education, and regulation in 96 countries". AANA Journal. 66 (3): 273–86. PMID 9830854.
  3. ^ International Federation of Nurse Anesthetists (2007). About IFNA... Retrieved May 23, 2007, from
  4. ^ "Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) – Department of Anesthesiology".
  5. ^ Daughettry, Lindsay (2010). "Is There a Shortage of Anesthesia Providers in the United States?". Rand Health. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "CRNA Fact Sheet".
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-08-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. "Standards Revisions Related to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  10. ^ Gene Blumenreich. "A Surgeons Responsibility for CRNAs" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  11. ^ American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (2013). "Scope of Nurse Anesthesia Practice" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  12. ^ Gene Blumenreich. "Legal Briefs: Captain of the Ship Doctrine" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  13. ^ Andy Nghiem, AMA: Anesthesiologists that aren't licensed shouldn't refer to themselves as such, Patient Daily (July 31, 2020).
  14. ^ Christine Sexton,Nursing Board Signs Off On 'Anesthesiologist' Title, News Service of Florida (August 20, 2020).
This page was last edited on 11 April 2021, at 10:24
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