Healthcare News & Insights

Court ruling lets California nurses administer anesthesia without supervision

Nurses just won another battle to give them more autonomy in the operating room. Some experts don’t think they should have it.

A California court just ruled (pdf) that state law doesn’t require certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) to be supervised by a physician.

The ruling makes California the 16th — and largest — state to give nurses such freedom.

CRNAs, and the associations that represent them, are understandably happy. But some groups, including The California Society of Anesthesiologists and the California Medical Association disagreed with the ruling.

Both groups said the ruling was counter to existing state law. In press releases, the organizations also claimed that although nurses will play an increasingly important role in the health care as federal reform works it’s way through the system, they lack the necessary training to take on certain kinds of roles.

Is it a legitimate point — or just a way to protect physicians’ turf? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. al yearty says:

    This seems like a cost effective healthcare move I just hope patients don’t suffer