Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States for more than 150 years. CRNAs collaborate with surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, podiatrists, and other qualified healthcare professionals to deliver safe, high-quality, and cost-effective patient care in virtually every healthcare setting.
Who Are CRNAs?
- CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses who administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States. In some states, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals, ensuring patient access to obstetrical, surgical, trauma stabilization, and pain management services.
- CRNA services include pre-anesthesia evaluation, administering the anesthetic, monitoring and interpreting the patient's vital signs, and managing the patient throughout surgery.
- CRNAs at a Glance
- CRNA Fact Sheet
- Nurses Keep Healthy Lead as Most Honest, Ethical Profession—For the 16th consecutive year, nurses have been ranked first by Americans based on honesty and ethical standards, demonstrating that CRNAs offer greater transparency, understanding, and engagement in patient care.
- With nearly three years of critical care experience before entering a nurse anesthesia program, CRNAs are well prepared to respond appropriately in emergencies. They are the only anesthesia professionals with this level of critical care experience prior to beginning formal anesthesia education.
- Additionally, nurse anesthetists attain 7-8.5 years of education, training and clinical experience. Today's CRNAs enter the workforce with a master's or doctoral degree. CRNAs must receive their master's or doctoral degree from a program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA). By 2025, all CRNAs will receive a doctoral degree from a program accredited by the COA.
- Infographic: CRNA Education and Training
- CRNAs are responsible for patient safety before, during, and after anesthesia.
- CRNAs sustain a patient's critical life functions throughout surgical, obstetrical, and other procedures.
- CRNAs are uniquely prepared to assess, identify, and manage the care of patients suffering from acute and/or chronic pain.
- CRNAs select and administer other types of drugs to preserve life functions.
- CRNAs analyze situations and respond quickly and appropriately in emergencies.
- CRNAs provide that special spirit of caring that is unique to all nurses.
- Patients, caregivers, and facility administrators expect their healthcare team to work together. CRNAs are prepared to collaborate with all members of the patient care team including surgeons, endoscopists, radiologists, podiatrists, obstetricians, anesthesiologists, nurses, technicians, other specialists and operating room personnel.
- In today's fast-paced healthcare environment, patients and the patient care team also look to their CRNA to fill roles beyond administering anesthetics.