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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: May 13, 2013 03:49 PM
From: Representative Bryan Cutler
To: All House members
Subject: Recognizing Nurse Anesthetists as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that officially recognizes Nurse Anesthetists as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, CRNAs, in Pennsylvania law. Currently, Nurse Anesthetists are the only advanced practice nursing group out of four others lacking this recognition within state law. Nurse practitioners are known as CRNPs, Nurse Midwives are known as CNMs, and Nurse Specialists are known as CNSs. CRNA recognition will also assist our many Pennsylvania nursing schools that teach future nurse anesthetists because it will allow those students to more easily become licensed as nurse anesthetists in other states. This legislation does not address scope of practice, but provides the support and recognition Pennsylvania’s Nurse Anesthetists deserve.

The direct patient nature of anesthesia requires nurse anesthetists to have specialized knowledge and skills acquired at the graduate level, master’s or doctorate. They are highly qualified health care professionals and are dedicated to their patients. At a time when our nation is in the midst of a discussion on sky rocketing health care costs, Nurse Anesthetists ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to safe and affordable health care, from rural communities to urban cities. Pennsylvania should support these highly skilled health care professionals and recognize them as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, CRNAs.

Nurse Anesthetists are Pennsylvania’s oldest advanced practitioners of nursing and have been the main providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military personnel on the front lines since WWI, including current conflicts in the Middle East. Nurses first provided anesthesia to wounded soldiers during the Civil War. These nurses provide essential, professional, and affordable care in hospitals and health care institutions throughout the commonwealth, including traditional hospital surgical suites, obstetrical delivery rooms, critical access hospital, ambulatory surgical centers, Offices of dentists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists, U.S. military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities.

Introduced as HB1318