Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Executive Budget Proposal for fiscal year 2018-19 includes a provision to amend the education law, recognizing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) as Advanced Practice Nurses. This provision could ultimately allow CRNAs to practice to their full scope based on education, training and experience. More than 30 years of scientific study has demonstrated that CRNAs administer safe, quality care with patient outcomes equivalent to anesthesiologists, their physician counterparts. This proposal is a step toward New York state adopting long-standing and uniformly accepted standards of care for this advanced nursing specialty. Modeled in part after the Nurse Practitioner Modernization Act of 2014, similar education policy has been enacted in New York for other advanced nursing specialties, including Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists.
Industry studies demonstrate that increased utilization of CRNAs is estimated to generate an additional $2 million in revenue annually per average 12-room surgical department. Specifically, this new legislation will authorize CRNAs with more than 3,600 hours of experience to practice in collaboration with a physician without requiring a written practice agreement, as Nurse Practitioners currently practice. CRNAs with this level of experience will be permitted to practice in collaboration with one or more physicians in order to provide more timely, cost-effective treatments to patients receiving anesthetic care.
Proposed legislation affording CRNAs full scope of practice has been introduced in the state Legislature for close to 20 years. NYSNA believes that granting CRNAs their full scope of practice will increase patient access in the most cost-effective manner while maintaining quality and opening up resources to invest in other operations. There is increasing demand for anesthesia services in New York, especially in rural and under-served areas. NYSNA supports providing patients in New York state with the best anesthesia care possible.