NBCRNA Information

The National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) is the nation’s certifying body for the initial and continued certification of the nearly 54,000 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 nearly 54,000 certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in the United States working in every health care setting, in both rural and urban areas, in every state. The rigorous and demanding initial education and training, followed by the ongoing continued certification, places nurse anesthetists at the forefront of a growing movement to ensure continuing competency in health care practitioners. 

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. 

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

History of the NBCRNA

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. The profession has required recertification since 1978. 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. 

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.