Nurse Anesthesiologist – A New Descriptor for CRNAs

This past February, the AANA Board of Directors created the Nurse Anesthesiologist Descriptor Task Force and charged it with analyzing the pros and cons of the AANA recognizing the descriptor “nurse anesthesiologist” for use by CRNAs. After more than five months of information gathering, analysis, and discussion, the task force presented its recommendations to the AANA Board of Directors during the open session of the Board meeting held yesterday, July 27, 2018.

Following a robust discussion by the Board, a statement concerning the use of titles and descriptors by CRNAs was developed and unanimously approved. The statement, which incorporates input from the task force and the membership at large, is as follows.

The Board wishes to thank the task force members for the time and effort they dedicated to this important assignment.


The practice of anesthesia has been a recognized nursing specialty for more than 100 years. The AANA presents this statement in an effort to clarify for the public the many ways someone may refer to a CRNA.

The AANA recognizes the following titles:

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • CRNA
  • Nurse Anesthetist

The AANA acknowledges additional descriptors for nurse anesthetists which could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)
  • Licensed Nurse Practitioner (LNP)
  • Licensed Independent Practitioner (LIP)
  • Advanced Practice Provider (APP)
  • advanced practice professional
  • nurse anesthesiologist

Regardless of the title or the descriptor being used, as a profession we believe it is time for the focus to be on the quality of the healthcare provided and not the title of the healthcare provider.

It remains the responsibility of each individual CRNA to remain aware of and comply with the legal requirements of any state or facility in which they practice. (Information provided by AANA)