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A CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologist or Anesthetist) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who administers anesthesia in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. CRNAs administer more than 33 million anesthetics each year in the United States, and are the solution to high-quality, safe, and affordable anesthesia care for Arizonans.


The CRNA credential was first formally recognized in 1956. In 1986, CRNAs were the first nursing specialty granted direct reimbursement privileges from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In 2001, CMS rules were amended to allow state Governors to opt out of the physician supervision requirement. Governor Doug Ducey signed opt out legislation into Arizona state law in 2017. 

Rural America

Roughly half of all obstetric anesthesia in rural counties is delivered by independently practicing CRNAs. In addition, about 90% of underserved and rural communities rely on CRNA only models of care where there are no physician anesthesiologists available.

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