Promoting Patient Safety by Enhancing Provider Quality 

About the NBCRNA

The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) is the nation’s certifying body for the initial, continued and subspecialty certification of the more than 61,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs). Our primary responsibility is to guard the well-being of the public by seeking to ensure that those who secure the CRNA credential have the necessary knowledge and skills to practice safely and effectively. We accomplish our mission through the development and implementation of credentialing programs that support lifelong learning among nurse anesthetists. 

There are more than 61,000 certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in the United States working in every health care setting in which anesthesia is delivered, in both rural and urban areas, in every state. CRNAs are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly all rural hospitals, and are the main provider of anesthesia for members of the U.S. Armed Forces.  

Board of Directors

The NBCRNA is managed by a Board of Directors who are recognized as leaders in nurse anesthesia and related fields. The members of the Board are certified registered nurse anesthetists, as well as a board-certified surgeon and anesthesiologist, both of whom have a current working relationship with nurse anesthetists, and a representative of the public at large. Members of the Board are elected to serve staggered three-year terms. Two of the CRNA Board Directors are elected by currently certified CRNAs through an open election following a call for applications. Learn more on the Election page.

Learn more about the volunteer Board of Directors that governs the NBCRNA credentialing programs.

Brief History of the NBCRNA

1975: In 1975, the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) approved the establishment of Councils to oversee the accreditation and certification processes for nurse anesthetists. In doing so, the profession recognized that credentialing mechanisms, which include examination and certification, function to protect and benefit the public. Nurse anesthetists established a rigorous national certification examination earlier than most nursing, allied health, and medical professions, and became an early adopter of computerized adaptive testing technology.

1978: The profession has required recertification since 1978.

2007: In 2007, the Council on Certification of Nurse Anesthetists (CCNA) and the Council on Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (COR) became independent of the AANA, and together incorporated as the NBCRNA. While an autonomous organization, the NBCRNA continues to work closely with the AANA on issues of mutual concern. 

2016: In 2016, the new certification renewal program, the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program, was launched. The program is based on eight-year periods comprised of two four-year cycles. The required components are Class A (continuing education) credits, Class B (professional development) credits, Core Modules (current, evidence-based information), and the CPC Assessment, a non-pass/fail assessment taken every eight years at home or testing center. Find out more  here.

The NBCRNA credentialing provides assurances to the public that certified individuals have met objective, predetermined qualifications for providing nurse anesthesia services. While state licensure provides the legal credential for the practice of professional nursing, private voluntary certification indicates compliance with the professional standards for practice in this clinical nursing specialty. 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.