Newswise — Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law Senate Bill 5184, which authorizes certified anesthesiologist assistant (CAA) licensure in the state. The law, which is the first to introduce the role of CAAs to the Pacific Northwest, will be effective in June, 2024.

Today, Washington joins over 20 states that allow both types of nonphysician anesthetists (nurse anesthetists and CAAs) to practice in the physician-led Anesthesia Care Team. The Washington State Society of Anesthesiologists (WSSA) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) applaud this action, which will make CAA services available to Washington patients. CAAs are trained extensively in the delivery of quality anesthesia care as well as advanced patient monitoring techniques. They work exclusively under the medical direction of physician anesthesiologists to implement anesthesia care plans within the Anesthesia Care Team.

All CAAs possess a pre-medical undergraduate education and complete a comprehensive didactic and clinical graduate school program at the master’s degree level. CAAs are fully recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs system.

“Gov. Inslee’s action will help Washington ensure there are enough anesthesia health care professionals to keep up the growing demand for anesthesia services, while ensuring optimal patient safety under the Anesthesia Care Team model of care,” said WSSA President Timothy Clement, M.D. “We’d like to express our gratitude to members of the state legislature who worked tirelessly with WSSA to help advance this bill.”

About the Washington State Society of Anesthesiologists

Founded in 1948, the Washington State Society of Anesthesiologists (WSSA) was formed to advance the science and art of anesthesiology, and to stimulate interest and promote progress within the specialty. WSSA is a Washington State non-profit corporation with more than 1,500 members, and is a component society of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).

The American Society of Anesthesiologists Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with nearly 58,000 members organized to advance the medical practice of anesthesiology and secure its future. ASA is committed to ensuring anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of all patients before, during and after surgery. ASA members also lead the care of critically ill patients in intensive care units, as well as treat pain in both acute and chronic settings. For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at To learn more about how anesthesiologists help ensure patient safety, visit Like ASA on Facebook and follow ASALifeline on Twitter.