New Study Shows Nurse Anesthetists Highly Satisfied with Profession, Credential  
Despite Changing Health Care Environment, Stress, Legislation 


  Viewpoint for Many: Credential Does Not Elevate Patients’ View of Their Expertise 




CHICAGONov. 10, 2020    In February 2020, the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) engaged RTI International to conduct a nationwide survey of 57,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) to gain an understanding of CRNA perceptions of the value of the CRNA credential. The survey indicated that despite varied work environments, the profession being identified as a high-stress occupation, and legislation impacting scope of practicean extremely high percentage of CRNAs are personally satisfied with their profession choice, are proud to have obtained the CRNA credential, and indicated that it gives them greater job satisfaction.  


This survey consisted of 45 multiple-choice questions and one open-ended question and is the first part of a multi-phase research initiative to collect a 360-degreee perspective on the value CRNAs placed on their credential, taking a holistic look of the overall credential. Among the findings, the five areas with the highest percentage of CRNAs responding favorably (somewhat or strongly agree) were the following:  


  • 96% were personally satisfied with being a CRNA  

  • 94% agreed being a CRNA provides greater job satisfaction  

  • 93% agreed they are proud to have the CRNA credential  

  • 92% agreed earning the CRNA credential is a significant personal achievement for them  

  • 91% agreed that the CRNA credential demonstrates that they have met a professional standard  


Conversely, a few survey items received lower endorsements of agreement. Only 66% of respondents agreed that the CRNA credential elevates patients’ view of their professional expertise. NBCRNA Chief Research Officer Dennis Spence, PhD, MS, CRNA, FAANsaid of this finding, “A potential explanation for this lower agreement is that patients are not always familiar with the CRNA credential as CRNA respondents mentioned in the survey comments.” He said of the finding that only 64% of the respondents believe that the certification requirements for the CRNA credential are appropriateAgain, based on open-ended comments in the survey, this lower agreement is likely related to dissatisfaction with the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program—the new certification renewal program launched in 2016.”  


Dr. Spence noted that upcoming phases of the Value of the Credential survey will look more closely at the CPC components and process for further evaluation. He added, “We look forward to teasing out those findings in subsequent phases of the research.” 


The survey provided NBCRNA with a valuable baseline for better understanding CRNA views on the credential to inform strategic decisions and will be used in future studies for benchmarking and trending over time.  

AExecutive Summary and full report, as well as more information on NBCRNA’s research initiatives, can be found on the Research Studies page of the NBCRNA website at



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