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What is a Nurse Anesthetist?

Administering Anesthesiology

A nurse anesthetist is a specialty-trained registered nurse who administers anesthesia to patients who are undergoing surgeries or special procedures.

Nurse anesthetists have a unique approach to patient care, grounded in a nursing perspective. The job isn't just about pharmacology and physiology, but caring for the human spirit while patients receive an anesthetic.

Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse anesthetists work in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, surgery centers, pain management clinics, and military installations.

CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer more than 34 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States, according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) 2012 Practice Profile Survey. They are the primary anesthesia providers in rural America and in some states; they are the sole providers in nearly 100% of the rural hospitals.

Growing Need

Nurses have been providing anesthesia care to patients since the creation of the science and art of anesthesiology in the late 1800's. As pioneers in advanced practice nursing, nurse anesthetists collaborate with physicians and surgeons; other nurses and the entire health care team ensure a safe and comfortable perioperative experience for the patients entrusted with their care. As of March 1, 2013, there were 113 accredited nurse anesthesia programs in the United States utilizing more than 1,850 approved clinical sites; 16 of these programs award a doctoral degree from entry into practice. Please visit the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists website for details.

History

Nurses have been providing anesthesia care to patients since the creation of the science and art of anesthesiology in the late 1800's. As pioneers in advanced practice nursing, nurse anesthetists collaborate with physicians and surgeons, other nurses and the entire health care team to ensure a safe and comfortable perioperative experience for the patients entrusted to their care.

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