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Patients in South Dakota Will Have Access to Affordable Quality Care, Thanks to a Law that Extends Authority of Nurse Anesthetists

  • Feb 27, 2020

For immediate release: February 27, 2020
For more information, contact AANA Public Relations

Park Ridge, Ill. (AANA)—Marking a huge victory for patients across South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem signed SB 50 today, which grants nurse anesthetists the ability to collaborate with healthcare providers in chronic pain practice, expands collaboration in anesthesia care to include podiatrists, dentists and other providers, and grants prescriptive authority.

“Patients and health systems across the nation depend on Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), who have an exemplary record of providing 49 million safe anesthetics to patients every year,” said Kate Jansky, MHS, CRNA, APRN, USA, LTC (ret), president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. “Known for their topflight skills, comprehensive education and training, CRNAs are proud to be a part of America’s most trusted profession.”

Effective July 1, CRNAs in South Dakota can collaborate with dentists, podiatrists, and other providers, in addition to medical doctors. The bill defines collaboration as “the act of communicating pertinent information or consulting with a licensed physician or other licensed health care provider with each provider contributing the provider's respective expertise to optimize the overall care delivered to the patient.”

The bill also grants CRNAs prescriptive authority, including the ability to prescribe, procure, administer, and furnish controlled substances, over the counter and legend drugs, in connection with anesthesia practice or pain management. It also authorizes CRNAs to collaborate with other healthcare providers in chronic pain practice and to develop and initiate a patient-specific anesthesia or pain management plan of care and therapeutic regimen, conduct an advanced comprehensive nursing assessment and order and interpret diagnostic procedures.

South Dakota is one of 17 states that have opted out of the federal physician supervision requirement. CRNAs provide anesthesia in every hospital and ambulatory surgery center in the state, where anesthesia care is required for surgery, labor and delivery, trauma stabilization, and pain management. There are 509 CRNAs serving 41 of the 66 counties in the state. There are no anesthesiologists-only counties.

CRNAs provide anesthetics to patients in every practice setting and for every type of surgery or procedure. As highly educated advanced practice nurses, CRNAs are expertly equipped to respond in emergency situations.

“CRNAs deliver some of the most pioneering methods of anesthesia care in U.S. healthcare today,” said AANA CEO Randall Moore, DNP, CRNA, MBA.

“The legislative work that nurse anesthesia state associations foster will ensure accessible and affordable healthcare for patients across our country,” said Moore. “With an aging and growing population, our nation’s healthcare system needs advanced practice nurses like CRNAs to deliver high-quality care to patients while keeping costs down.”

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Melissa Ramirez Cooper
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