The delivery of anesthesia services is at a crossroads in the United States. In 1967, there were two certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) for every anesthesiologist providing anesthetics, and the numbers are nearly equal today. A CRNA manpower forecasting model is developed in this article that shows CRNA supply and requirements from 1990 through 2010. Two estimates of CRNA shortage are presented, one based on the current trend of anesthesiologists replacing CRNAs and another assuming that CRNAs are involved in every anesthetic under anesthesiologist supervision. The results imply that more than a twofold increase in CRNA school enrollments is needed just to fill conservative baseline needs given the predicted growth in operations in all settings. Limiting anesthesiologists to a supervisory role, at the other extreme, would require a doubling of CRNAs by 2010 and an even greater expansion of CRNA schools. However, it is estimated that reversing CRNA manpower trends could save society between $750 million and $1.2 billion annually
Crna Manpower Forecasts - 1990-2010
Cromwell, J., Rosenbach, ML., Pope, G., Butrica, B., & Pitcher, JD. (1991). Crna Manpower Forecasts - 1990-2010. Medical Care, 29(7), 628-644.