Meeting the demands of an ever-changing healthcare environment, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) Board of Directors approved the updated "Scope of Nurse Anesthesia Practice." This document reflects the professional scope of practice of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), including the full range of anesthesia services, and describes CRNAs' professional, educational, clinical, and leadership roles. The board met in advance of the Assembly of Didactic and Clinical Educators meeting here Feb. 19-22.
Healthcare systems across the country increasingly rely on advanced practice providers to deliver excellent patient care. Anyone in healthcare understands the incredible value advanced practice registered nurses such as CRNAs bring, particularly as healthcare administrators work to expand high-quality care and lower costs."
Kate Jansky, MHS, CRNA, APRN, USA, LTC (ret), AANA President
As anesthesia experts, CRNAs serve a broad range of patients in ambulatory surgical centers, hospitals, procedure rooms, emergency rooms, and office-based settings such as podiatry and dentistry. As advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs are licensed as independent practitioners who collaborate with patients and a variety of healthcare professionals in order to provide patient-centered, high-quality, holistic, evidence-based, and cost-effective care.
The document illustrates CRNAs' professional scope of practice and significant role throughout the perioperative process, in the management of acute and chronic pain, and in other clinical services provided by CRNAs, such as emergency, critical care, and resuscitative services. The document also includes CRNAs' use of emerging techniques and monitoring modalities such as point-of-care ultrasound. The "Scope of Nurse Anesthesia Practice" outlines the education, licensure, certification and accountability of CRNAs, many of whom have pivotal leadership roles, such as chief executive officers, administrators, directors, practice owners, national and international researchers, and more.
"The demand for expert anesthesia professionals is rising, and lawmakers across the country are recognizing the need for patient access to the safe, high-quality care provided by CRNAs and other APRNs," said Jansky. "State legislators increasingly support efforts to remove unnecessary restrictions and to enable CRNAs to practice at the full extent of their education and training."
"As their record of safe, high-quality, cost-effective care demonstrates, CRNAs will continue to lead in the delivery of patient-centered, compassionate anesthesia and pain management care," states the document.