CRNA History

Tennessee Association of Nurse Anesthetists History

Nurse anesthetists were among the first specialty nurses to require continuing education. The recertification program for nurse anesthetist is called the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program, which is administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) and is based on eight-year periods comprised of two 4-year cycles. It officially began on August 1, 2016. In addition to practice and license requirements, the CPC Program includes four main components: 60 Class A CE credits or traditional continuing education credits; 40 Class B credits or professional development activities; completion of Core Modules in four content areas, including airway management technique, applied clinical pharmacology, human physiology and pathophysiology, and anesthesia equipment and technology (recommended but not required); and pass a comprehensive examination every eight years.

The first organized program in nurse anesthesia education was offered in 1909.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) implemented a certification program in 1945 and instituted mandatory recertification in 1978. The first certification examination was administered in 1945 to 92 candidates.

In 1952, the AANA established a mechanism for accreditation of nurse anesthesia educational programs that has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education since 1955.

Recently, the AANA and the School of Nurse Anesthesia at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, began offering an advanced pain management fellowship to prepare CRNAs with the skills necessary to meet the pain management needs of Americans with chronic pain. The Advanced Pain Management Certificate Program is accredited by the COA, and graduates are eligible to take a certification examination on Non-Surgical Pain Management offered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists Fact Sheet

Scroll to Top