Yesterday’s editorial in the New York Times got the facts right. Research confirms that nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia as safetly as anesthesiologists and don’t need to be supervised by physicians. This is particularly crucial in rural areas where a nurse anesthetist may be the only qualified anesthesia provider for miles. Of course, the evidence doesn’t seem to matter to anesthesiologists who continue to claim that they must supervise nurse anesthetists to ensure safe care. Oh, and anesthesiologists make more than twice the annual earnings of nurse anesthetists. You can learn more about nurse anesthetists at www.aana.org.
Diana J. Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, Rudin Professor