Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In
History of CRNA
Share |


History of CRNA



There are nearly 47,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in the nation today. They administer over 65% of the anesthesia in the United States. In some rural states, that percentage is significantly higher. They are licensed in all states and serve as commissioned officers in all branches of the military as well as the United States Public Health Service. Studies conducted by the federal government have detailed the need for many more CRNAs in the U.S. today.

Our nation has a significant shortfall of these invaluable Nurse Specialists. The administration of anesthesia by nurses is not a new development in health care. They have a long and distinguished history. Nurses were first specialists in the administration of anesthesia and their history dates to the 1800s.

The first organized program to teach the administration of anesthesia was not founded until the early 20th century. In 1915, chief nurse anesthetist Agatha Hodgins (pictured, right) established the Lakeside Hospital School of Anesthesia in Cleveland, Ohio. This program was open to graduate nurses, physicians, and dentists. The training was 6 months, and the tuition was $50.00. A diploma was awarded on completion. In its first year, the program graduated 6 physicians, 2 dentists, and 11 nurses.

Later, in 1918, it established a system of clinical affiliations with other Cleveland hospitals. The only post-graduate training just for physicians in circa 1920 was a one-month course in Ohio conducted by E. I. McKesson. Obviously, many factors have changed since then and the number of anesthesia specialists, both physicians and nurses, has increased since then. The length and cost of programs has also increased.


Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal