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Let’s Celebrate National CRNA Week!

  • National CRNA Week is an annual week of celebration to highlight the thousands of hard-working nurse anesthetists in the US! 
  • CRNA Week is January 22nd-28th 2023. 
  • The roles and responsibilities of a CRNA are needed and necessary on a daily basis in today’s healthcare system. 

Amy White

RN-MSN – Chief Nursing Officer

December 09, 2022
Simmons University

National CRNA Week 2023

National CRNA Week is an annual week of celebration to highlight the thousands of hard-working nurse anesthetists in the US! National CRNA Week is January 22, 2023 – January 28, 2023. 

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) consists of advanced practice nurses that administer anesthesia for medical and surgical procedures.  The CRNA provides anesthesia before, during, and after surgery.   

They work effectively with other medical practitioners such as dentists, podiatrists, and surgeons and CRNAs serve as a liaison between the patient and his/her leading care provider.   

While the position of a CRNA can be a high-level stress job, it can also have many rewards and benefits.   

The following are important areas to consider when working as a CRNA and January is designated as the month to recognize these special individuals:  

  • What are the roles of a CRNA?   
  • What is the required training to become a CRNA? 
  •  How are CRNAs categorized as specialized trained nurses?    
  •  How can we celebrate CRNAs during National CRNA Week?


CRNA week 2022

Roles of a CRNA

CRNAs are trained to maintain extreme vigilance while providing anesthesia during a procedure or surgery in order to recognize and respond immediately to any changes in the patient’s condition.   

The CRNAs work closely with other surgeons, physicians, dentists, and other healthcare team members in order to have an individualized plan for each patient.   

The following are some roles that CRNAs perform:


  • provide patient counseling and education 
  • perform a comprehensive history and physical examination, assessment, and evaluation 
  • perform a pre-anesthesia assessment  
  • develop a client-specific plan for each patient 
  • obtain informed consent for both anesthesia and pain management 
  • select and prescribe appropriate preanesthetic medications 


  • implement a client-specific plan of care for anesthesia and pain management 
  • select and prescribe all the necessary medications, fluids, and blood products needed during a surgery 
  • select and insert invasive and non-invasive monitoring devices (such as central lines, arterial lines, and a trans-esophageal echocardiogram – TEE) 


  • facilitate emergent situations and recovery from anesthesia 
  • select and prescribe all the necessary medications needed for post anesthesia  
  • perform a post anesthesia evaluation 
  • educate patient and family on recovery, pain management, and analgesia 
  • discharge from the post anesthesia area 

Pain Management

  • provide comprehensive pain management to optimize recovery 
  • provide acute pain services and non-opioid techniques 
  • provide advanced pain management 
  • provide regional pain management such as those used with obstetrics and other acute pain management  

Other Services

  • prescribe pain medications 
  • perform advanced airway management  
  • provide emergent care and resuscitation measures 
  • order, evaluate, and interpret diagnostic and laboratory studies 
  • supervise the use of ultrasounds and fluoroscopy for diagnosis and delivery of care 
  • provide sedation and effective pain management for palliative care patients 
  • order treatments, consults, or other needed services such as physical and occupational therapy

    Required Training for a CRNA

     A CRNA must first graduate from a Bachelor of Science nursing program and pass the NCLEX examination to become a Registered Nurse.  Following the completion of nursing school and passing the examination, the Registered Nurse needs to gain clinical experience in critical care settings. 

    After obtaining clinical experience, the nurse must apply and attend graduate school and complete a Master of Science Degree in Nursing or a graduate level anesthesia program that is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia.   

    One must then complete and pass the national certification examination and maintain the required continuing education and recertification requirements.   

    Overall, it takes an estimated 7-10 years to gain the education and training needed to become a CRNA.   

    The following is the proper order of steps to become a CRNA: 

    • Earn a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program 
    • Pass the NCLEX examination in order to receive RN licensure 
    • Gain clinical nursing experience in critical care settings 
    • Enroll and become accepted into a graduate nurse anesthesia program 
    • Graduate with either a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Doctorate of Nursing Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) and pass the national certification exam 
    • Begin career as a CRNA

    CRNA week

    Specialized Nurses

    While CRNAs are Registered Nurses, they are advanced in their education, skills, and certifications.  CRNAs maintain a specialty area that goes beyond the scope of practice and responsibilities of a Registered Nurse.   

    Becoming a nurse is the first step toward becoming a CRNA, but there is much more education, training, clinical skills, and certifications that must be maintained due to the advanced skills and procedures that CRNAs perform on a daily basis.  It is important for those interested in becoming a CRNA to understand the full responsibilities, education, and certification requirements to become a CRNA.   

    Another aspect that allows CRNAs to be specialized is that they have received numerous hours of education training in anesthesia, and they are able to administer anesthesia for both medical and surgical procedures.  CRNAs have a much more specialized skill set than traditional nurses and are required to have extra education.   

    CRNAs can either choose to work alone and have their own practice or they can choose to work with a team of healthcare providers. 

    Recognition During CRNA Week

    The roles of a CRNA can be tedious and demanding, and it is important that CRNAs experience appreciation and gratitude from others during the month of January as they fully deserve this recognition.   

    The following are some of the best ways to help celebrate the hard work, commitment, and life-saving care that CRNAs provide not only during CRNA week, but daily: 

    • Celebrate a CRNA – choose a certain CRNA each day of the month and treat him/her with an extra special favorite treat with recognition of his/her hard work on a special board or a special email sent out  
    • Provide research on CRNAs – take the time to educate oneself and others regarding the history of anesthesiology and its importance 
    • Provide a special lunch on various days for the CRNAs to ensure that are all able to attend on one of their scheduled work days 
    • Stress levels can be extremely high for a CRNA and providing a simple, but yet relaxing spa day of his/her choice serves as a nice gesture of appreciation 

    CRNA week 2023

    The Bottom Line

    With an emphasis on preventative care and the demand for more healthcare services from a growing population, the demand for advanced practice nurses such as CRNAs remains high.  Many times, CRNAs are often seen as a cost-effective hire, especially when compared to an anesthesiologist.    

    CRNAs have extremely important roles from the time their shift begins until it ends, and National CRNA Week is designated as a great time to celebrate their dedication, autonomy, preciseness, and commitment to patient care.  

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