Newswise — Park Ridge, Ill. (AANA) – In honor of National CRNA Week (Jan. 24-30, 2021), Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) introduced bipartisan House Resolution 65 on the House floor, “Recognizing the roles and the contributions of America’s Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and their critical role in providing quality health care for the public, especially during the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic.” 

“I was honored to introduce this resolution alongside my fellow Nursing Caucus Co-Chair to recognize the contributions of our nation’s certified registered nurse anesthetists and their role in providing quality healthcare for the American people,” said Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14). “Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and I are truly grateful for all that CRNAs do to ensure the highest levels of patient safety in anesthesia care. Their work has a critical impact in bringing down healthcare costs and increasing access to care.” 

Since the start of the pandemic, tens of thousands of CRNAs and student registered nurse anesthetists (SRNAs) have cared for critically ill patients. We are appreciative of the recognition the House of Representatives’ resolution brings to the profession,” said American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) President Steven M. Sertich, CRNA, MAE, JD, Esquire.  “You will find CRNAs in every possible practice setting. We provide anesthesia for traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms, critical access hospitalsambulatory surgical centers, Veterans Affairs hospitals, pain management facilities, and in our nation’s military service branches. 

In addition to the congressional resolution, Richard A. Stone, MD, the acting under secretary for healthVeterans Health Administration (VHA), issued a statement thanking CRNAs for their service to our Veterans, during the pandemic and beyond. 

CRNAs have always been essential colleagues in our care for Veterans. In April we issued guidance to allow CRNAs to have full practice authority within the scope of their license,” the statement read. “This allowed CRNAs in certain states to practice without the supervision of a physician. This has led to more access to care for Veterans. 

According to the statement, nearly 1,100 CRNAs work across the VHA system, including 131 hired since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Last year the world changed, and CRNAs and SRNAs were faced with a public health disaster not seen in 100 years.  Their unique skills and expertise have allowed them to step forward in ways that few others can, particularly in advanced airway and ventilation management, vascular volume resuscitation, and advanced patient assessment,” said President Sertich. “As highly educated, advanced practice registered nurses, CRNAs have the important role of keeping patients safe and advocating on a patient’s behalf—making CRNAs an imperative and affordable member of a patient’s healthcare team.” 

Every year across the United States, CRNAs administer nearly 50 million anesthetics. The AANA established CRNA Week in 2000 to educate the public about anesthesia safety and the benefits of receiving anesthesia care from CRNAs. During National CRNA Week, nurse anesthetists will be educating patients, coworkers, and others about their profession.