HARRISBURG (Jan. 26, 2016) — For the second consecutive week, the General Assembly formally honored the role and value of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in Pennsylvania. The House unanimously adopted a resolution (H.R. 650) today to recognize the work of advanced practice nurses who deliver safe, high-quality anesthesia care in a variety of health-care settings.
The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-Chester/Delaware), a long-time advocate for the state’s CRNAs. He sponsored a similar resolution last year. His resolution follows unanimous approval last week of a resolution sponsored by state Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland/York).
“We’re so grateful for this recognition, and the continued support of champions like Rep. Barrar,” said Ann Culp, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA), which represents more than 3,000 CRNAs and students in Pennsylvania.
Both resolutions coincide with the 17th annual “National CRNA Week,” which runs Jan. 24-30. PANA launched its own campaign, “CRNAs: Making a Difference One Patient at a Time,” which runs through February. Residents can learn more about CRNAs at www.PANAforQualityCare.com, or on Twitter at @PANACRNA and Facebook at www.facebook.com/PANACRNA.
In Pennsylvania, nurse anesthetists must obtain a bachelor’s degree, graduate with a minimum of a master’s degree from a nurse anesthesia accredited program, complete additional hours of clinical work (the average student nurse anesthetist completes almost 2,500 clinical hours) and pass a national exam in order to be able to practice. CRNAs must be a Registered Nurse (RN), and they must be recertified every two years. Nurse anesthetists’ recertification includes meeting advanced practice requirements and obtaining a minimum of 40 continuing education credits.
Because of this training and experience — CRNAs have a history spanning back to the Civil War — numerous medical studies show there is no statistical difference in patient outcomes when a nurse anesthetist provides treatment with or without anesthesiologist present. And, as health-care demands continue to grow, increasing the number of CRNAs will be a key to containing costs while maintaining quality care.
Learn more about CRNAs in Pennsylvania. Visit www.PANAforQualityCare.com.