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PARK RIDGE, Ill. (AANA)—Arizona has become the 18th state to opt out of a federal physician supervision requirement for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). This decision made by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will expand access to care across the state and help meet the growing demand in care for patients with COVID-19.
In a statement, leaders of the Arizona Association of Nurse Anesthetists said the governor’s action “stems from years of effective leadership and a shared vision to eliminate burdensome regulation that has restricted Arizona CRNA practice. During the current healthcare climate, we continue to pride ourselves on being part of the solution to meet the healthcare needs of Arizonans.”
In a March 23 letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Governor Ducey wrote that the exemption “will enhance access to high quality care, provide additional options to our rural hospitals, and is in the best interest of the citizens of Arizona.” He added that the opt-out decision was made in consultation with the executive directors of both the Arizona Nursing Board and the Arizona Medical Board.
As more healthcare providers are needed to address the growing COVID-19 crisis, the opt-out will expand access to care for all Arizonans, but especially those in rural areas, where CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia services, said AANA President Kate Jansky, MHS, CRNA, APRN, USA LTC (ret).
“We applaud this decision that will expand access to care for Arizona residents, especially in rural areas,” Jansky said. “The opt-out will allow CRNAs to meet the growing demands on our healthcare system as they utilize their unique skill set to care for patients and save lives.”
“The AANA is encouraging the governors of other states to follow Governor Ducey’s lead and remove barriers to practice,” said the CEO of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Randall D. Moore, DNP, MBA, CRNA. “CRNAs are equipped to do their work without supervision, and now more than ever we need all advanced practice registered nurses to be able to practice to the full scope of their license and training.”