Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist vs. Anesthesiologist Assistant: A Comprehensive Review of Similarities and Differences

Neely, Brittani
Scholl, Diana
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Two types of non-physician anesthesia providers, Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAs) and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), participate in anesthesia practice. While these two providers may share similarities in job descriptions and are considered interchangeable in some settings, the clinical background, academic requirements, and scope of practice between the two are different. A PowerPoint presentation describing the similarities and differences that exist among CRNAs and AAs was prepared and presented to a convenience sample of 24 senior Student Registered Nurse Anesthetists (SRNAs) enrolled at Adventist University of Health Sciences. The goal of this project was to increase the knowledge of SRNAs regarding the similarities and differences among CRNAs and AAs. A pre and post test was administered and scores were analyzed using SPSS. Results revealed a significant increase (p= < .001) in the SRNAs’ knowledge following the PowerPoint presentation. Thus, the researchers concluded more education regarding the similarities and differences of CRNAs and AAs may be helpful among nurse anesthesia students. Understanding and respecting the differences between these two similar, yet different professions is a step in providing patients with safe and accessible anesthesia care.