PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATION (Enacted in 2021)
After more than a decade of legislative advocacy, certified registered nurse anesthetists in Pennsylvania are finally getting the recognition they deserve. On June 30, 2021, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Senate Bill 416, now Act 60 of 2021, which grants formal title recognition to the state’s CRNAs. This is a monumental achievement for the more than 3,700 CRNAs and students in the commonwealth. Read more HERE and view the ACT 60 FACT SHEET.
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 marks the end of our lengthy fight to secure professional recognition for our advanced education, specialized training, and clinical skills.
Besides title recognition, Act 60 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.
Special thanks go to Sen. John Gordner (R-Columbia), who sponsored the Senate measure that became law, and Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne), who authored the companion bill in the House. These two lawmakers truly are champions of our profession.
We also owe gratitude to the groups that supported our efforts in the 2021-22 legislative session, including:
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