What is a Nurse Anesthetist?
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.
CRNAs administer approximately 40 million anesthetics in the United States each year according to the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) 2014 Practice Profile Survey. CRNAs practice in every anesthesia setting and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural hospitals. They administer every type of anesthetic, from open heart to cataract to pain management.
Nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States for more than 150 years. 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 February 2016, there are 114 accredited nurse anesthesia programs in the United States utilizing more than 1,800 approved clinical sites. Many of these programs award a doctoral degree from entry into practice. Please visit the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists website for details.
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.