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Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is a qualification in the United States for advanced practiced registered nurses with a Doctorate or Master's degree specializing in the administration of anesthesia. CRNAs account for approximately half of the anesthesia providers in the United States and are the main providers of anesthesia in rural America, administering approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients each year. Historically, nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients since the American Civil War more than 150 years ago. The CRNA credential came into existence in 1956 and approximately 40% of nurse anesthetists are male. Scope of practice limitations and practitioner oversight requirements vary between healthcare facility and state, with 17 states and Guam granting complete autonomy as of 2016. In states that have opted out of supervision, the Joint Commission and CMS recognize CRNAs as licensed independent practitioners. In states requiring supervision, CRNAs have liability separate from any supervising practitioner and are able to administer anesthesia independently of anesthesiologists.

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