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VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System

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National Nurse Anesthetists Week

January 24, 2011

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NEWS RELEASE VA Nebraska/Western Iowa Health Care System logo

Will Ackerman -- Public Affairs Officer
VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System
4101 Woolworth Avenue (00P)
Omaha, NE 68105
Office: (402) 995-4719
Cell: (402) 332-6780

Jan. 24, 2011

Nurse Anesthetists: Always There Caring for America
VA’s Nebraska-W. Iowa Health Care System Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
celebrate National Nurse Anesthetists Week

OMAHA, Neb. — Administering anesthesia across the United States for nearly 150 years, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) from the Department of Veterans Affairs Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System and thousands of their colleagues from around the country are celebrating this year’s 12th annual National Nurse Anesthetists Week campaign: Caring for America, taking place, January 23 – 29.

The Caring for America theme highlights the goal of the nurse anesthesia profession, which is to ensure all Americans have access to quality anesthesia care. Since the Civil War, nurse anesthetists have remained at the head of the table every moment of their patients’ procedures, administering their anesthetics, monitoring their vital signs, and helping to ensure that each year millions of patients receive the safest anesthesia care possible.

CRNAs administer anesthesia to patients undergoing cardiac, neurological, oral, and labor and delivery surgeries just to name a few. Regardless of the setting, the same high standards of care are applied.

Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who administer approximately 32 million anesthetics in the United States each year. Practicing in every setting in which anesthesia is available, CRNAs practice with a great deal of autonomy and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, and they are the sole anesthesia providers in nearly 100 percent of all rural hospitals.

As the main hands-on provider of anesthesia care in both military and civilian settings, CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is administered. That includes but is not limited to hospital operating and delivery rooms; ambulatory surgical centers; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons; pain management centers, and within the U.S. Military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.

National Nurse Anesthetist Week was established by the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), and was created to encourage CRNAs to take the opportunity to educate the public about anesthesia safety, questions to ask prior to undergoing surgery, and the benefits of receiving anesthesia care from a nurse anesthetist. To learn more about the AANA visit

The VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System proudly serves more than 167,660 veterans in Nebraska, western Iowa and portions of Kansas and Missouri. Omaha’s medical center is an inpatient facility and also a large outpatient clinic for primary and specialty care. The Community Living Center is in Grand Island. There are community-based outpatient clinics in Lincoln, Grand Island, North Platte, Holdrege, Norfolk, Bellevue and Shenandoah, Iowa.

For more information, visit