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Texas has more than 5,400 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) whose education, certification, and clinical experience have positively impacted our state through the delivery of safe, cost-effective, high-quality anesthesia care to Texans. 

CRNAs have provided quality, cost-effective anesthesia care for more than 150 years 

  • The first anesthesia specialists were nurses who began providing anesthesia during the American Civil War; physicians did not begin specializing in anesthesia until decades later. 
  • CRNAs are qualified to practice independently of an anesthesiologist, provide the full range of anesthesia care, and administer all types of anesthesia. 
  • Studies show the standard of care and patient outcomes are the same whether anesthesia is provided by a CRNA working alone, a CRNA working with an anesthesiologist, or an anesthesiologist working alone. 

CRNAs provide access to essential healthcare services

  • CRNAs administer more than 50 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year. 
  • Nurse anesthetists are the sole anesthesia providers in the majority of rural Texas counties. 
  • The majority of rural Texas hospitals rely solely on anesthesia delivered by CRNAs to ensure the provision of obstetrical, surgical, and trauma stabilization services.
  • Military CRNAs continue to be the primary anesthesia providers in all theaters of operation. 

CRNAs are highly educated, extensively trained advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) 

  • Specialty anesthesia education for CRNAs is provided at 120 accredited programs throughout the United States, and each program offers a master’s or doctoral degree. 
  • Texas is home to five nurse anesthesia educational programs
  • A minimum of seven years of higher education and training is involved in the preparation of a CRNA. 
  • All nurse anesthetists must pass the National Certification Exam, and CRNAs are the only licensed anesthesia providers who must be board certified in anesthesia to practice.