Reports & Studies


Numerous medical studies show there is no statistical difference in patient outcomes when a nurse anesthetist provides treatment, even for rare and difficult procedures.


Anesthesiology: “Anesthesia Care Team Composition and Surgical Outcomes”

New research published online in the journal Anesthesiology confirms the quality and safety of anesthesia provided by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) while raising questions about the role and value of anesthesiologist assistants (AAs) in patient care. The study, titled “Anesthesia Care Team Composition and Surgical Outcomes,” was funded by the American Society of Anesthesiologists. CRNAs are not required by state or federal laws or regulations to be supervised by --- or to even work with --- an anesthesiologist, while AAs can only work under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. An AA functions as an assistant to an anesthesiologist and is dependent upon the anesthesiologist’s supervision and direction. When an anesthesiologist supervises multiple CRNAs, however, it is typical for the anesthesiologist to rarely be present in the operating room, or not present at all, because CRNAs are capable of working safely and effectively without anesthesiologists and do so all the time.


Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition

Reforming America's Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition Summary (pp. 30-36): The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Federal Trade Commission, and several offices within the White House, issued a report as part of a Trump Administration directive to ensure quality health care at affordable prices by promoting choice and competition. Among its findings is that states should change their scope of practice statutes to allow all health-care providers to practice to the top of their licensure. States also should consider eliminating rigid collaborative practice and supervision agreements that are not justified by legitimate health and safety concerns.

The Cochrane Collaboration: No Differences in Care Provided by CRNAs and Anesthesiologists

Summary: Researchers studying anesthesia safety found no differences in care between nurse anesthetists and physician anesthesiologists based on an exhaustive analysis of research literature published in the United States and around the world. Based on the collaboration’s findings, the greater utilization of CRNAs to the fullest extent of their scope of practice and skills promotes patient access to safe, cost-effective anesthesia care, especially now when it is desperately needed.



Policy Perspectives: Competition and the Regulation of Advanced Practice Nurses

Summary: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently urged state legislators and policymakers to be mindful when evaluating proposals that limit access to care provided by advanced practice registered nurses such as CRNAs. The FTC reports that “[r]estrictive physician supervision requirements exacerbate well-documented provider shortages, that “[e]xcessive supervision requirements may increase health care costs and prices,” and that “[f]ixed supervision requirements may constrain innovation in health care delivery models.”



Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Anesthesia Providers 

Summary: The LewinGroup, a nationally recognized health-care policy and research organization, issued a report --- "Cost Effectiveness Analysis of Anesthesia Providers"-- that found CRNAs provide high-quality, efficacious anesthesia care, even for rare and difficult procedures; and that as demand for health care continues to grow, increasing the number of CRNAs will be a key to containing costs while maintaining quality care. 



No Harm Found When Nurse Anesthetists Work Without Supervision by Physicians 

Summary: Health Affairs published a report --- “No Harm Found When Nurse Anesthetists Work Without Supervision by Physicians” --- that recommends the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) allow certified registered nurse anesthetists in every state to work without the supervision of a surgeon or anesthesiologist. The cooperative nature of nurses working with physicians determines the best health care for a patient.



The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health

Summary: A study from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies shows that expanding the role of nurses in the U.S. health-care system will help meet the growing demand for medical services. That study ---  “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” --- makes clear that nurses will play a fundamental role in transforming health care, if policies exist to enable them to practice to the full extent of their education and training.



MedPage Today: Can CRNAs Work Alone?

Summary: Sedation for outpatient endoscopy procedures had similar outcomes when certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) managed the protocol with or without anesthesiologist supervision, a review of more than 100,000 patient records showed. Overall adverse event rates were low, and none of the most common or serious adverse events occurred more often when CRNAs handled sedation by themselves or with an anesthesiologist.


CRNA Programs in Pennsylvania


Did you know that Pennsylvania is among the top draws for CRNA students across the United States? The state currently operates 13 highly rated nurse anesthetist programs spread out across the commonwealth.


Latest News

PANA Discusses CRNA designation legislation with Rep. Tarah Toohil and Americans for Prosperity - PA

May 28, 2020

Americans for Prosperity - Pennsylvania sat down with PA State Rep. Tarah Toohil and PANA (Pennsylvania Association of Nurse Anesthetists) to talk about why CRNA designation can help transform Pennsylvania's healthcare system and provide greater quality access to care.

AANA: Governor of Pennsylvania Grants Waiver to Suspend Supervision Requirement of CRNAs

May 8, 2020

PARK RIDGE, Ill. (AANA) — Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and other advanced practice nurses in Pennsylvania are now able to practice to the full extent of their education and training. Governor Tom Wolf signed an executive order May 6 to protect healthcare providers for “good-faith actions” taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Editorial | PA drags its feet on CRNAs

May 7, 2020

A proposed measure not acted upon by the Pennsylvania General Assembly prior to the conclusion of its two-year legislative session does not carry over automatically to the following session. In order for the measure to have any hope of becoming law, it must be reintroduced and get back onto the beginning of the legislative “road.”

One proposal in Harrisburg’s current session that merits passage but which is in danger of being a victim of inaction, as it has been in the past, would provide professional certified registered nurse anesthetist — CRNA — 


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