Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


The focus of this independent research project was to provide a case-study synopsis of what a Midwestern rural hospital did in response to a shortage of anesthesia provider time. Patient populations are growing while the population of anesthesia providers is shrinking. These two variables add up to a major crisis when it comes to patient care. The implementation of Ce1iified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) groups specialized and hired for pmiicular patient populations is one way of assuring that the patient continues to receive expert anesthesia care and can request and receive it in an appropriate amount of time. CRNA groups could also aid anesthesiologists in helping he or she to tend to the daily operating room (OR) needs and the pre-, post-, and intraoperative needs of that patient population. The information in this document will identify the scopes of practice of which the CRNA works under and the education that a CRNA obtains that qualify he or she to perfonn such procedures as regional anesthesia on the laboring patient population. The reader will gain knowledge as to the different types of analgesia and anesthesia available for the laboring patient and how each is done. This synopsis will outline the trends of the shortages of physicians expected in the next five to ten years and common variables that attribute to this fact. An extensive review of such literature fonns and supports the basis of this case study. The paper concludes with recommendations for nursing practice, research, policy, and education