Legislator, Elected Official, Senator, Assembly
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are highly trained and qualified advanced practice nurses who safely and effectively administer anesthesia every day. CRNAs work in every setting across the country—traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; and the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists. And, CRNAs work in the U.S. military, Public Health Services, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities. CRNAs obtain a minimum of a Master’s Degree from accredited nurse anesthesia programs, have on average 9,369 hours of experience in critical care settings and must pass the National Certification Examination. Some CRNAs pursue a fellowship in a specialized area of anesthesiology, such as chronic pain management, following attainment of their degree in nurse anesthesia. Physician special interest groups want you to think CRNAs aren’t as qualified or skilled as physician anesthesiologists, or that they’re unsafe. That’s simply not true. There’s no difference in the quality of care provided by a CRNA versus that of a physician anesthesiologist, and numerous studies have proven it. CRNAs have been part of Nevada's most trusted profession for 70 years running. CRNAs have a strong safety record, and their critical care experience makes them the backbone of our healthcare system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet, we cannot use the title of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) in Nevada. With all of this experience, CRNAs cannot practice to the top of their education and training due to the restrictive requirements for unnecessary physician involvement. In response to the pandemic, many governors across the country recognized these unnecessary restrictions and temporarily lifted barriers to CRNA practice. The decisions made by these governors helped saved lives in our country’s worst health crisis in a century. CRNA scope of practice was highlighted federally by CMS with the understanding that there are unnecessary restrictions in many settings and states are increasingly recognizing the need to allow CRNAs to practice to the full extent of their training and education. CRNAs are known for being strong patient advocates and going above and beyond for their patients. As trusted, skilled anesthesia experts, CRNAs should practice without the barrier of unnecessary restrictions permanently. Among those barriers is the inability to be recognized as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN). As one of only five states in the country who does not recognize CRNAs under an umbrella of Advanced Practice Nursing, we urge your support to increase accessibility and quality to the State of Nevada healthcare system.
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