ROSEMONT, Ill., Jan. 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — (AANA) – The American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology (AANA) applauds the important discussion of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing on Jan. 11 focused on improving rural healthcare access for veterans. The Committee’s discussion of the role that Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) play in addressing healthcare challenges in rural areas is a critical step toward improving the quality of care for our nation’s veterans.
In testimony submitted prior to the hearing, AANA emphasized the importance of following the data and allowing CRNAs to practice independently and at the top of their scope within the VA, particularly in rural and underserved communities where they often serve as the sole anesthesia providers in nearly all hospitals. AANA is pleased to hear several members of the Committee question why VA has not recognized the unique contributions of CRNAs or supported their extension of full practice authority in the Veterans healthcare system yet, which would align with the evidence that demonstrates the safety and effectiveness of CRNA-led anesthesia care.
“We are encouraged by the Committee’s acknowledgment of the role CRNAs play in ensuring timely and quality healthcare access for our veterans,” said AANA President Dru Riddle, PhD, DNP, CRNA, FAAN. “This hearing reflects a commitment to addressing the challenges faced by veterans in rural areas and demonstrates in the Committee’s commitment to ensure that VA is delivering on our promise to provide the best care for those who have served our nation.”
AANA looks forward to continued collaboration with the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and other stakeholders to ensure that the VA implements policies that support the unique healthcare needs of veterans in rural communities by allowing CRNAs to provide the highest quality care without unnecessary barriers for veterans.
SOURCE American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology