Action Needed to Stop AAs and End Supervision of CRNAs

We need urgent action from our Virginia CRNAs on legislation in the General Assembly. Please contact your legislators today and tell them to:

  • Support HB 2287 – which ends supervision for CRNAs in Virginia!
  • Oppose HB 1925 & SB 1342 – which allows AA’s to practice in Virginia.

We need you to act now!

First, please click here to look up who your Delegate and Senator are in the General Assembly. You can find their email address and their phone number at that website.

Second, please call your Delegate and Senator and tell them that you oppose House Bill 1925, which would allow AAs into Virginia. Tell them that you support House Bill 2287 to remove supervision of CRNAs and that it would help reduce the workforce shortage in Virginia.

Third, please spread the word to every Virginia CRNA in your contact list. Call, text and email them and ask them to help CRNAs win this important legislative fight by contacting their legislators.

Fourth, please cut and paste the sample email below and send it to your Delegate and Senator. Simply add your name at the bottom and your elected officials name at the top.

Sample letter:


As a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) licensed and practicing in Virginia, I am writing to urge you to not support legislation that would bring Anesthesiologist Assistants (AA) into Virginia. I also encourage you to support legislation that would allow Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA) to practice in consultation with their medical colleagues instead of being supervised.

Currently, AAs do not practice in Virginia, due in large part to their scarcity. There are only about 3,000 AAs practicing in the entire country. AAs have a limited role and would be required to be supervised by a specific type of physician—anesthesiologists—in order to practice. Licensing AAs in Virginia would do nothing to ensure patient access to anesthesia care, control rising healthcare costs, or ensure patient safety.

Virginia already licenses two groups of anesthesia professionals, one of which is CRNAs. Currently, more than 2,000 CRNAs practicing in Virginia safely deliver the vast majority of anesthesia for surgical, obstetrical, and emergency procedures to citizens across the Commonwealth. CRNAs are also known for ensuring patient access to care in rural and other medically underserved areas, enabling patients to receive safe, cost-effective healthcare services close to their homes rather than having to travel great distances for needed care.

Under proposed legislation, AAs would be licensed to practice in Virginia. Only a few states and the District of Columbia currently license AAs, despite the fact that these healthcare workers have been around for more than 30 years. One shortcoming stands out in particular: AAs cannot work without being closely supervised by highly paid physician anesthesiologists; therefore, AAs cannot work where there are no anesthesiologists, period. This makes AAs a nonfactor in alleviating patient access to care issues or controlling healthcare costs. On the other hand, CRNAs do not have to work with anesthesiologists; therefore, they are indeed a solution to access to care and cost-containment issues.

In addition, a great deal of research data published in respected peer-reviewed journals confirm the safety and quality of anesthesia care provided by CRNAs, regardless of whether they are supervised by a physician. By comparison, no research has been conducted or published that indicates whether AAs are safe providers.

In short, legislation promoting AA’s is bad medicine for Virginia because:
• AAs do NOT improve patient safety.
• AAs do NOT reduce costs.
• AAs do NOT improve access to anesthesia services.

The optimal solution is a delivery system and related policies that support utilizing CRNAs to the full extent of their education, training, and expertise. Legislation is being introduced that would change the supervision requirement for CRNAs and allow them to work in consultation with their medical colleagues, which would address the problem at hand with a small change to Virginia’s code without putting patient safety at risk.

Virginia is home to more than 2,000 CRNAs and 350 student nurse anesthetists, which could help alleviate the workforce shortage immediately while providing high-quality patient safety and expanded access to care. Many of us have seen our CRNA colleagues choose to live in states that allow CRNAs to practice to their full education and training, and by making this simple change to Virginia’s Code, we can help retain the students we are educating here and help attract and retain many more CRNAs to stay in Virginia.

Please consider allowing CRNAs the ability to practice to their full education and training while not compromising Virginia’s health care system.


Fifth, please consider donating to VANA PAC today by clicking here. Your contribution helps give CRNAs a voice in important policy battles in the Capitol. VANA is hard at work advocating for CRNAs across the state, and your donation will help empower VANA to continue fighting for CRNAs.

We will keep you updated on this important issue coming before the General Assembly in the coming days.