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01/26/2020 12:06 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=28515
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: February 25, 2019 01:58 PM
From: Representative Tarah Toohil
To: All House members
Subject: Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Designation
 
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that would officially recognize Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) under Pennsylvania statute. Currently, there is no definition for “certified registered nurse anesthetist” under the state’s Professional Nursing Law, meaning these professionals are recognized only as Registered Nurses.

CRNAs are highly-skilled advance practice nurses, and their training and education programs at our state colleges and universities are rigorous. Despite this experience and background, nurse anesthetists are the only ones among the four advanced practice nursing groups that are lacking legal recognition under state law.

This is an important issue as Pennsylvania is one of just two states that do not recognize CRNAs in some form or another. This creates challenges for nurse anesthetists, especially veterans, who must obtain other state credentials to continue working in the armed forces. This isn’t a problem unique to veterans either. Pennsylvania CRNAs on humanitarian missions also find it harder to get credentialed when offering their services. For the entire profession, the result can be a “brain drain” as CRNAs leave Pennsylvania because of designation challenges.

Moreover, with 13 nurse anesthetist programs spread out across Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities, our commonwealth ranks among the top draws nationally for CRNA students seeking training and education. However, without an official CRNA designation, many graduating students wait as long as six months to get credentialed in out-of-state facilities, as state boards must verify that the students meet the requirements necessary to be classified appropriately there. Retention of these advanced professionals should be a priority. Many simply relocate to other states because there they can utilize the full extent of their education and training in clinical practices because of the profession recognition. CRNA designation would help us remain an education and training leader for the profession, and help to attract more CRNAs to practice in Pennsylvania. This legislation does not address scope of practice, but merely provides recognition to the skill and expertise of Pennsylvania’s Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists.

In the past, Leader Cutler has introduced this legislation and it has been cosponsored by: DeLISSIO, SACCONE, BURNS, RYAN, BAKER, IRVIN, TOPPER, BARRAR, GABLER, WATSON, FREEMAN, WHEELAND, MILNE, CALTAGIRONE, BENNINGHOFF, M. K. KELLER, MURT, PASHINSKI, EVANKOVICH, NEILSON, HILL-EVANS AND WARD

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.



Introduced as HB1064