Program areas at American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
Advocacy: aana, which represents more than 54,000 certified, registered Nurse Anesthetists (crna's) and student Nurse Anesthetists nationwide, advocates for changes to the nation's healthcare system which increase anesthesia patient safety and affordability of anesthesia services, maximize patient access to care, support patients' rights to receive care from the providers of their choice, and ensure Nurse anesthesia educational opportunities. The Nurse anesthesia profession also supports public and institutional policy which enables maximum utilization of crna's and their ability to work within their full and legal scope of practice. Numerous outcome studies have demonstrated that there is no difference in the quality of care provided by crna's and their physician anesthesiologist counterparts.
Scope of practice: Nurse Anesthetists have a documented history of providing safe, high-quality anesthesia care. Today, nearly 150 years after the profession's humble yet heroic beginnings on the battlefields of the civil war, certified registered Nurse Anesthetists (crna's) are the hands-on providers of more than 32 million anesthetics given to patients each year in the united states. The longevity and growth of the specialty can be attributed directly to Nurse Anesthetists' commitment to excellence and patient safety, their willingness to provide services when and where needed, and the provision of those services at reasonable cost. They are qualified to make independent judgments concerning all aspects of anesthesia care based on their education, licensure, and certification. Crna's are legally responsible for the anesthesia care they provide and are recognized in state law in all 50 states, the district of columbia, puerto rico, and the virgin islands. With its stated mission of "advancing patient safety, practice excellence, and its members' profession," the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (aana) has been committed to improving the quality of anesthesia care provided by Nurse Anesthetists since it was established in 1931. To that end, the aana has developed standards for anesthesia care and pain management. Additionally, the aana supports crna participation in continuing education programs, patient, quality and safety research, patient satisfaction, advancement in anesthesia techniques and technology, and the development of anesthesia practice standards and guidelines. Working in collaboration with surgeons, physician anesthesiologists, and other qualified healthcare professionals, crna's practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons and pain management specialists; u.s. military, public health services, and department of veterans affairs healthcare facilities.
Educational/professional development: the Nurse anesthesia specialty requires the development of expert clinical judgment skills and critical thinking capabilities that prepare the Nurse anesthetist to safely engage in the full scope of anesthesia practice as defined by the profession. The educational preparation of certified registered Nurse Anesthetists (crna's) is conducted in more than 100 accredited graduate-level programs throughout the united states and puerto rico. Graduates of accredited Nurse anesthesia educational programs must pass the rigorous national certification examination for Nurse Anesthetists in order to become qualified to practice as a crna. Recertification, which includes requirements for anesthesia practice as well as continuing education, must be successfully accomplished every two years in order to continue to practice as a crna. Aana, as well as external organizations, provide both in-person and online continuing education opportunities for crna's.