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KNOWLEDGE & EDUCATION

Five Facts About CRNAs You May Not Know

John Sikes, Chief Executive Officer

24 January 2017

This week, DPI is proud to celebrate National CRNA Week. Here are five fast-facts you may not know about the nurse anesthesia profession:

1. Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) today takes a significant investment of time and money.

You must first obtain a Bachelors in Nursing degree, which is a four-year commitment.  Secondly, you must then work in a critical care environment for at least two years.  Next, you must apply, get accepted, and complete a doctoral degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia program, which takes 3-4 years to complete.  Finally, you must pass a national board certification exam to become a CRNA.

2. Nurses have been providing anesthesia care since the American Civil War.

Currently, CRNAs deliver about 43 million anesthetics in the United States each year, according to a practice profile survey conducted by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) in 2016.

3. In 1986, Congress made nurse anesthetists the first nursing specialty to be afforded direct Medicare reimbursement rights.

Currently, CRNAs deliver about 43 million anesthetics in the United States each year, according to a practice profile survey conducted by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) in 2016.

4. CRNAs practice in every setting, with and without anesthesiologists, and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America.

This enables healthcare facilities in medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management and trauma stabilization services. According to the AANA, in some states, CRNAs are the sole providers in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals.

5. Established by Agnes McGee, the first school of nurse anesthesia was formed in 1909 at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland, Oregon.

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