Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kurt Knaus; P: 717-724-2866; E: firstname.lastname@example.org
HARRISBURG (June 30, 2021) --- If you are a practicing certified registered nurse anesthetist in Pennsylvania --- and there are more than 3,000 of these health-care professionals in the commonwealth --- then you are finally recognized as a “CRNA.”
Gov. Tom Wolf today signed into law Act 60, which grants formal title recognition to the state’s certified registered nurse anesthetists.
Until this moment, Pennsylvania had been one of just two states that failed to recognize “certified registered nurse anesthetist” in some form. With no definition for nurse anesthetists under the state’s Professional Nursing Law, CRNAs were recognized only as registered nurses.
That all changed with the governor’s signature.
The enactment also marks the end of a lengthy legislative push by CRNAs who have fought for more than a decade to secure professional recognition of their advanced education, specialized training, and clinical skills.
“This is a monumental victory,” said Matt McCoy, DNP, CRNA, President of the Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists (PANA), which represents more than 3,700 CRNAs and students in the commonwealth.
“Every day we go into work from this point forward will be a new day for CRNAs in Pennsylvania,” he said. “I am so proud of the job our CRNAs do and so impressed by the time they put in outside of work to advocate for this change in law. This is a shared victory among our entire profession.”
Both the House and Senate passed identical companion measures --- House Bill 931 sponsored by Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) and Senate Bill 416 sponsored by Sen. John Gordner (R-Columbia) --- within days of each other in early June.
Gordner has had previous measures pass the Senate only to stall in the House --- until this year. His legislation finally made it through both chambers and to the governor’s desk.
“We could not be more grateful to the persistence of Senator Gordner and for the support both Senator Gordner and Representative Toohil have shown us over the years,” McCoy said.
Besides title recognition, the measure also expands the providers that CRNAs are permitted to work with to include podiatrists, and it clarifies regulatory language as it pertains to physician involvement with anesthesia services, formalizing the status quo. The measure also includes cooperation language to define the relationship CRNAs have with their physician colleagues.
For more information about certified registered nurse anesthetists in Pennsylvania, visit www.PANAforQualityCare.com or follow along on social media via Twitter at @PANACRNA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PANACRNA.