Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill.—Maryland patients now have increased access to safe, affordable care with the enacting of HB55. The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) applauds the new law, as it expands the scope of practice for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), granting them the authority to order and prescribe medications, including controlled substances.

Under the new law, CRNAs may prescribe up to a 10-day supply of medicine in connection with the delivery of anesthesia services.

Natasha Hopkins, DNP, CRNA, president of the Maryland Association of Nurse Anesthetists, applauded the provision, citing that the bill “provides for greater access to care for all patients in Maryland. It is an important step in advancing patient safety and providing skilled anesthesia care throughout the state.”

Maryland joins 36 other states in granting CRNAs prescriptive authority.

CRNAs, as advanced practice registered nurses, are members of one of the most trusted professions according to Gallup.  CRNAs provide anesthesia care across all settings and in all patient populations and are the primary anesthesia providers in rural and underserved areas and on the battlefield in forward surgical teams. Because of their expertise in anesthesia delivery and management of critically ill patients, CRNAs have been a highly sought-after healthcare provider during the COVID-19 pandemic.