COANA Position statement regarding the clinical instruction of Anesthesiology Assistants

CRNAs are Advanced Practice Nurses whose scope of practice is governed by the Colorado Nurse Practice Act (NPA), which is administered by the Colorado Board of Nursing (BON). The BON has adopted regulatory provisions pursuant to the NPA that govern the practice of all nurses within the State of Colorado, including CRNAs. The governing statute and BON rules ensure each advanced practice nurse is providing patient care within that scope of practice, as further delineated in the BON regulations, policy statements and other pronouncements.

CRNAs, as advanced practice nurses, have expanded education, training, and a comprehensive skill set that permits them to perform the advanced practice functions that comprise anesthesia care. Because the provision of advanced practice anesthesia care requires such expanded education, training and comprehensive skills, these functions cannot be delegated by CRNAs to unlicensed personnel. This position is consistent with BON pronouncements including its written response dated November 7, 2011, where the BON unanimously confirmed there is no provision within the NPA, or its regulations, that authorizes CRNAs to delegate advanced practice functions to unlicensed personnel.

CoANA’s Board of Directors reaffirms its agreement with the BON statement.