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    CRNAs Celebrate 10th Annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week

    By Jennifer Huddleston, staff writer  salutes Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) across the country this week as they celebrate the achievements of their profession and the contributions they provide to patients and healthcare in the U.S.

    This week, Jan. 25-31, 2009, marks the 10th anniversary of National Nurse Anesthetists Week, which was established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA).

    During National Nurse Anesthetists Week, CRNAs enjoy a time of national recognition as they celebrate having provided anesthesia care in the U.S. for almost 150 years and educate the public about anesthesia safety and the benefit of having advanced practice nurses as their anesthesia providers.

    “Since the beginning of the nurse anesthesia specialty during the Civil War, we have played a key role in improving patient monitoring technology, anesthesia equipment, provider education and overall patient safety,” said Jackie Rowles, CRNA, MBA, MA, FAAPM, president of the AANA, which was founded in 1931 and boasts a membership of approximately 37,000 CRNAs and student CRNAs across the country. “In fact, according to the Institute of Medicine, anesthesia today is nearly 50 times safer than it was during the 1980s, and the efforts of CRNAs have been monumental in the achievement of these results.”

    CRNAs safely administer approximately 30 million anesthetics to patients across the country each year and provide every type of anesthetic, practice in every type of setting and provide care for every type of procedure requiring anesthesia. In fact,
    CRNAs are the only anesthesia providers in more than two-thirds of all rural hospitals in the U.S.

    “I believe I speak for the majority of today’s CRNAs when I say that one of the most fulfilling parts of my job is reassuring patients that I will be by their side throughout their entire procedure, monitoring every beat of their heart and every breath that they take, and ensuring the safe provision of anesthesia and the effective treatment of pain,” said Rowles. [2]

    CRNAs are also the core providers of anesthesia care to U.S. military service men and women on the front lines of conflict, and have been since World War I. congratulates CRNAs during this celebratory time and praises their contributions to patient care. To learn more about CRNAs, National Nurse Anesthetists Week or the AANA, visit

    [1] “Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists: Proven, Professional, Passionate.” AANA Press Release. Jan. 23, 2009.
    [2]  Ibid.

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