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NYSNA Changes its Tune on Nurse Anesthetist Proposal

Thursday, February 15, 2018  
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02/15/2018 | By Dan Goldberg | PoliticoPro

The New York State Nurses Association has reversed its position and now supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to expand the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists.

Current law requires that a nurse anesthetist be under the supervision of a physician when practicing. Most of the time, the supervising physician is an anesthesiologist who is in the operating room, at least during the time the patient is put to sleep and woken up.

Cuomo's proposal would permit the state's approximately 1,400 certified registered nurse anesthetists to practice in collaboration with physicians without requiring a written practice agreement. This would apply only to nurses with 3,600 hours of experience, which generally equates to three years. It is similar to legislation for which nurses have long advocated. A collaboration does not require physicians to be present during surgery.

Jill Furillo, executive director of NYSNA, testified Monday that she had concerns about the proposal and said it should be removed from the final budget. That surprised her peers at the New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

They clarified that the budget proposal won't adversely impact current CRNAs or put them at a competitive disadvantage, an assurance that assuaged NYSNA's concerns, according to a statement from the labor union.

"We had previously expressed concerns regarding the possible adverse impact of the new regulations on currently certified and practicing CRNAs," NYSNA said in a statement. "Following discussions with and assurances from the New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NYSANA), we now believe there will be no impact on current CRNAs. Based on these clarifications from NYSANA, we support the proposed budget legislation."

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New York State Association of Nurse Anesthetists
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