Professional certification is an ongoing endeavor that involves much more than processing of documents at regular intervals. Under the CPC Program, CRNAs will continue the schedule with the 2- year Check-in to maintain CPC Program compliance. This check-in is important for several reasons. It provides an opportunity to update important information for the NBCRNA database; to verify state licensure, an important prerequisite for certification; and provides the opportunity to review progress towards CPC Program compliance.
Paid at two-year intervals, the fee helps NBCRNA meet its expenses that occur throughout the year, not just at the time of certification. The monetary support of CRNAs and careful financial management have resulted in the NBCRNA being in a stable financial position to meet the needs of all stakeholders. Year-long activities supported include:
General, Ongoing, Day-to-Day CRNA Support
What we do:
- We respond to a variety of daily email and telephone inquiries from individual CRNAs.
- We provide CRNAs with transcript information and other individual records upon request.
- We occasionally investigate complex issues and provide rapid responses for individual CRNAs so that they can maintain clinical privileges at their place of practice.
- We facilitate the work of over 100 CRNA volunteers on NBCRNA committees and work groups that engage in certification program development and execution. Face-to-face meetings, conference calls, and staff support requires a substantial amount of time and financial commitment.
- We maintain state-of-the-art technology and services to ensure efficient and effective certification and recertification processes, and provide technical support to individual CRNAs.
- In the past, over a six-month period, we answered 3,849 toll-free calls from CRNAs. The topics vary, but include questions about applications and requirements, request for documents, and some questions related to AANA responsibilities that we have referred to the AANA.
Communications Efforts and Outreach
What we do:
- Engage in ongoing communications with the nurse anesthetist community. This includes the NBCRNA website and social media sites, as well as contacting CRNAs on a regular basis by email and U.S. mail.
- Maintain a database of contact information for all members of the nurse anesthetist community. The NBCRNA must continually review and update contact information. We have determined that approximately 1,200 individuals change their contact information over a two-year period of time.
- The NBCRNA maintains the only comprehensive database of CRNA contact information.
- The high quality of the NBCRNA database helps prevent delays in certification and recertification and, in accordance with agreements with AANA, provides critically important contact information to the Association.
Credentialing and Licensing Support for CRNAs
What we do:
- The NBCRNA works with all 52 boards of nursing (BON) on behalf of CRNAs, on a daily basis.
- The NBCRNA manages disciplinary processes involving CRNAs which tends to be very expensive and time consuming.
- The NBCRNA is working with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and state boards to support advanced nursing practice. This takes time, money, and human resources.
- Recently the Kentucky BON enforced a provision that required each CRNA to provide proof of certification. Upon enforcement, several CRNAs had their licenses suspended. The NBCRNA worked with the Kentucky board to resolve this issue and developed a mechanism for certification verification on an ongoing basis in the state. NBCRNA initiated an effort to prevent this from occurring in other states. NBCRNA now provides weekly and monthly reports to help speed licensure with the states of AL, GA, KY, OH WV, LA, and AZ.
Outside Agency Work on Behalf of CRNAs
What we do:
- We address state and federal regulatory issues that might impact CRNA certification.
- We work with individual institutions, when necessary, to address credentialing inquires.
- We maintain electronic access for individuals and facilities for credentialing inquires.
- We work with other external organizations throughout healthcare for credentialing- related initiatives to help protect and further the CRNA credential.
- The NBCRNA is explicitly referenced in CMS regulations; this means that CRNA certification allows nurse anesthetists to bill for Medicare part B.
Accreditation & Quality Assurance
What we do:
- To be recognized as a certifying organization, the NBCRNA holds accreditation with two national agencies. This brings credibility to the CRNA credential and is required by insurers, reimbursement agencies, policy makers, and regulatory groups.
- We have an ongoing data analysis and internal audit process for quality assurance and policy improvement to better serve the CRNA community and the public.
- Monitor satisfaction and suggestions. Invite/solicit feedback and suggestions from the CRNA population.
- Policy improvement implemented due to CRNA input in the form of password change via text message.
About the NBCRNA
The NBCRNA works throughout the year on behalf of CRNAs and the credential. The NBCRNA is dedicated to promoting patient safety by enhancing provider quality in the field of nurse anesthesia. We accomplish our mission through the development and implementation of credentialing programs that support lifelong learning among nurse anesthetists. The NBCRNA credentialing provides assurances to the public that certified individuals have met objective, predetermined qualifications for providing nurse anesthesia services. The certification credential for nurse anesthetists has been institutionalized in many position descriptions as a practice requirement or as the standard for demonstrating equivalency. It has been recognized through malpractice litigation, state nurse practice acts, and state rules and regulations. Please visit www.nbcrna.com for more information on the NBCRNA and resources available for CRNAs.