USA Info

United States of America

American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Number of anaesthesia cases per year:
50 000 000
Number of Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA):
33 914
Number of Anesthesiologists:
35 000
Number of habitants
300 000 000

Nurse anesthesia education:

Each Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) must be a registered nurse with one year minimum critical care nursing experience to be accepted into a program. Approximately half of the 102 programs require the nurse to have the BSN (undergraduate degree in nursing) and the other half require an undergraduate degree and the RN.

Duration of the programs are 24-36 months and all students graduate with a Master’s Degree from a university. This has been the case since 1998.
All programs are accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) which is an autonomous national body recognized by the US Office of Education. Each school is also accredited by other academic bodies as required by the university.
All graduates must pass a national computer adaptive examination to work as a CRNA. Recertification is required every 2 years.

In order to be eligible to take the national certification examination, a transcript is produced showing the graduate has completed 705 contact hours in anesthesia.

Major areas studied and tested include:

Professional Aspects of Nurse Anesthesia Practice; Anatomy, Physiology, Pathophysiology; Basic and Advanced principles of Anesthesia (physics, equipment, technology, pain management); Pharmacology of Anesthetic Agents and Adjuvant Drugs(chemistry, biochemistry); Research; Clinical Conferences.

Students must complete 550 cases in a variety of areas but this is the minimum and most programs double the required case minimum. Research requirements are determined by the university and the university may require a number of core courses not directly related to anesthesia.

Description of nurse anesthesia practice :

CRNA’s administer approximately 27 million anesthetics annually in the US using all agents, techniques including regional anesthesia administration. CRNA’s may work with or without and anesthesiologist. Anesthesia, when administered by a nurse is recognized as a function of nursing and CRNA’s must have an RN license in the state in which they work.

Activities of the national Association:

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the educational, legislative, legal, and political face of the membership. Most CRNA’s see the value of voluntary membership as the number of CRNA’s that are members is 31,240. A major issue at the moment is future education of CRNA’s with external groups advocating the Doctorate of Nursing Practice for all advanced practice nurses by 2015. The AANA has a Task Force at the moment investigating the impact of this direction. Political issues are being addressed in many states and the organization stays on target for patient safety and advancement of the profession.


Continuing education opportunities :

Each CRNA must earn 40 CE credits every 2 years. The AANA has one national meeting per year as well as 2 Assembly of States and 1 Assembly of School Faculty meeting annually. Each state has at least one meeting annually and there are many opportunities by private groups for the CRNA to earn credits.

Professional Magazines :

AANA Journal and Newsbulletin. The Newsbulletin is published monthly and the Journal every two months.

Contact Person For Country Information :

Sandra M Ouellette CRNA, M.Ed, FAAN

National Association contact :


222 South prospect Ave

Park Ridge IL 60068, USA

Tel: (1) 847 692 7050

Render time: 0.2514 sec, 0.1528 of that for queries.