Who are CRNAs?

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are highly educated anesthesia experts who provide every type of anesthesia, for patients of all ages, for any kind of procedure, and in every health care setting where anesthesia is required.

Examples of Anesthesia Types include: general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, sedation, and pain management.

CRNAs are Highly Educated

CRNAs must complete extensive education, training and experience to become certified, including: 
  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or other appropriate baccalaureate degree. 
  • A current license as a registered nurse. 
  • At least one year of experience as a registered nurse in an acute care setting. 
  • Graduation with a minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited nurse anesthesia educational program. As of June 2012 there were 112 accredited nurse anesthesia programs in the United States utilizing more than 1,850 approved clinical sites. These programs range from 24-36 months, depending upon university requirements. All programs include clinical training in university-based or large community hospitals.
  • Pass the national certification examination following graduation.

In order to be recertified, CRNAs must obtain a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education every two years, document substantial anesthesia practice, maintain current state licensure, and certify that they have not developed any conditions that could adversely affect their ability to practice anesthesia.

The Changing Healthcare Landscape

As the U.S. patient population ages and becomes more diversified, CRNAs play a vital role in ensuring access to safe, cost-effective anesthesia care for all Americans.

CRNAs are Safe

Anesthesia is 50 times safer today than in the 1980s.  
Source: Institute of Medicine

There is a 0% difference in safety between CRNAs and anesthesiologists. 
Source: Research Triangle Institute

CRNAs are Cost-effective

Research shows that CRNAs are the most cost-effective anesthesia providers with an exceptional safety record.

  • Best Value  - CRNA as sole anesthesia provider
  • 25% More Expensive  - Anesthesiologist directing 4 CRNAs
  • 110% More Expensive - Anesthesiologist directing 1 CRNA


CRNAs Improve Access to Care

Millions of Americans rely on CRNAs for their anesthesia care, especially, pregnant women, active duty military and veterans, the elderly, and those in rural or under-served communities.

CRNAs are Team Players

Like all anesthesia professionals, CRNAs collaborate with other members of a patient's healthcare team, including:  surgeons, obstetricians, endoscopists, podiatrists, pain specialists, and other qualified healthcare providers.

For more information about Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, please visit