Patients, caregivers and administrators must have confidence in the professionals providing healthcare. As highly educated, advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs deliver anesthesia to patients using the same procedures as physician anesthesiologists. With an average of three and a half 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 seven to eight years of education, training and work 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.
During surgery, often the patient’s life rests in the hands of their anesthetist. This enormous responsibility requires CRNAs to use every aspect of their education and training, nursing skills and scientific knowledge. CRNAs are qualified to administer every type of anesthesia to all types of patients in any healthcare setting. Nurse anesthetists deliver comprehensive care using all accepted anesthetic techniques including general, regional, sedation, local and pain management.