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CRNA: Scope of Practice: CRNAs are educated and trained to work with or without anesthesiologist supervision. CRNAs are also educated and trained to exercise independent judgment and to respond quickly to anesthetic emergencies (Without an MD - Anesthesiologist Present).

AA : Scope of Practice: Since Anesthesiologist Assistants safely work under the close supervision of an anesthesiologist (MD), they work in an Anesthesia Care Team and quickly respond in any emergency situation. Anesthesiologist Assistants practice in the Anesthesia Care Team model which has proven to be the safest way to practice anesthesia when immediate action is required.


CRNA: History: Nurse anesthetists have been practicing for over 125 years. They were the first professional group whose members specialized in anesthesia until Anesthesiologists (MD's) advanced the practice of anesthesia.

AA: History: Anesthesiologist Assistants have been practicing since the early 1970s, for over 35 years with an impeccable safety record.


CRNA : Number of Accredited Nurse Anesthesia Programs: 108 accredited programs spread throughout the country.

AA: Number of Accredited Anesthesiologist Assistant Programs: 7 (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio;
University of Texas Houston, Texas;
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia;
Nova Southeastern University, Ft Lauderdale, Florida;
Nova Southeastern University, Tampa, Florida;
South University, Savannah, Georgia;
University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).

CRNA: Number of Students: In November 2007, approximately 5,100 students were enrolled in nurse anesthesia programs throughout the country.

AA: Number of Students: Emory reports that the current program graduates approximately 30 Anesthesiologist Assistants each year. Case Western reports that it has 28 to 30 students enrolled in the program at any given time. South University reportedly has approximately 30 students enrolled. Nova Southeastern University has approximately 30 students enrolled yearly. University of
Texas has approximately 24 students enrolled. Nova Southeastern University in Tampa, Florida has approximately 24 to 30 students enrolled yearly. University of Missouri-Kansas City has approximately 24 to 28 students enrolled yearly. Many more programs are in the planning stages and eventually every state will have an Anesthesiologist Assistant program.