Legislative updates


Pennsylvania is one of just two states (New York is the other) that fail to recognize CRNAs in some form. Because there is no definition for “certified registered nurse anesthetist” under the state’s Professional Nursing Law, CRNAs are recognized only as registered nurses (RNs), not as CRNAs. With a new legislative session underway, we will continue to work in a bipartisan manner with the legislature on developing measures to finally and formally recognize nurse anesthetists as “CRNAs” under Pennsylvania statute. To summarize the current legislation:

  • Senator John R. Gordner (R-Columbia) has re-introduced his professional designation legislation (S.B. 416). An identical measure passed the Senate unanimously in June 2019 before getting stuck in a House committee. SB 416 unanimously passed (50-0) the full Senate on June 16, 2021.

  • Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) has re-introduced a companion bill to Senator Gordner’s legislation (H.B. 931). HB 931 was unanimously reported out of committee and passed the full House on June 15, 2021 by a vote of 201-1.


You can read the latest PANA fact sheet about both measures HERE, or hear them discussed in our videos. These professional designation bills are simple, non-controversial title recognition measures and deserve legislative support. 



In the state’s 2021-22 legislative session, the General Assembly is expected to consider legislation that would license anesthesiologist assistants (AAs) for the first time in Pennsylvania. This is bad public policy that will do nothing to enhance patient care or make health care more accessible, but instead will increase the cost of care and severely limit the practice of certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). Learn more about AA legislation and how to discuss the issue with lawmakers by CLICKING HERE.


Legislation (H.B. 912) has been introduced in the 2021-22 legislative session that would require a physician to supervise the administration of anesthesia. The co-sponsorship memo went as far as to suggest that this requirement is necessary to protect patients. But patient safety currently is not an issue. Moreover, best practices in health care are constantly evolving, advancing and improving. That enhances quality. It is unwise to enact legislation that hinders this evolution toward greater patient care and safety. And, doing so actually goes against national trends to modernize health laws and ensure access to safe, affordable, quality care. Learn more about the measure by CLICKING HERE.


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Groups that support title recognition for CRNAs in Pennsylvania:

The Wolf Administration - View letter of support from the Governor's Policy Office

Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) - View letter of support for the work of CRNAs, especially in rural areas

Pennsylvania National Guard Associations (PNGAS) - View letter of support

The Commonwealth Foundation - View Policy Report and Blog Post on why 

Pennsylvania’s Healthcare Should Always be Crisis Ready

Americans for Prosperity-Pennsylvania - View letter of support

Pennsylvania Rural Health Association - View letter of support

Pennsylvania Association of Certified Nurse-Midwives - View letter of support

Villanova University / Crozer-Chester Medical Center Nurse Anesthesia Program - View letter of support

Pennsylvania Nurse Anesthetists Programs - View letter of support

Allegheny School of Anesthesia Program

University of Scranton School of Nurse Anesthesia Program

Cedar Crest College Nurse Anesthesia Program

Crozer-Chester Medical Center / Villanova University Nurse Anesthesia Program

Drexel University Nurse Anesthesia Program

Excela Health School Anesthesia Program

Frank J. Tornetta School of Anesthesia at Montgomery Hospital / La Salle University Nurse Anesthesia Program

Geisinger Health System / Bloomsburg University of Pa. Nurse Anesthesia Program

Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson School of Nursing Nurse Anesthesia Program

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing Nurse Anesthesia Program

UPMC Hamot School of Anesthesia / Gannon University Program

York College of Pa. / WellSpan Health Nurse Anesthetist Program

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Commentary by Brother Norman Hipps:

CRNAs deserve official designation in Pa.


The Commonwealth Foundation’s

Steve Bloom Guest column:

Eliminate barriers to crisis-ready health care

PANA Infographic Title Designation for C


PANA’s non-partisan Political Action Committee (PAC) is supported by donations, not by member dues.  The PAC allows us to support the most qualified candidates who share our views. Help us make your voice heard by donating to the PANA PAC.



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CRNA DESignation fact sheet