Anesthesiologists Have an Important Role in Preclinical Nurse Anesthesia Education

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Anesthesiologists do not participate regularly in the preclinical portion of nurse anesthesia training programs (NAPs). This practice is predicated on a historical separation of the early educational tracks of physicians and advanced practice nurses whose professions ultimately came to occupy overlapping niches within the field of anesthesia. The state of affairs has been bolstered by territorial friction between professional organizations, and by the lack of a perceived need for anesthesiologists to become involved at an early stage of nurse anesthesia education given the large number of qualified certified registered nurse anesthesia instructors available to perform this role. Anesthesiologists, however, have sig-nificant pedagogical assets to offer NAPs, including expertise in critical analysis and decision-making skills related to perioperative adverse events. In addition, introduction of anesthesiologists into preclinical NAP education has the potential to inject added academic rigor into NAPs currently transitioning to Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. Likewise, NAPs offer a professional haven for those anesthesiologists seeking new challenges in education, and a unique opportunity to shape the future of anesthesia. Most importantly, introducing anesthesiologists into the initial educational phases of the nurse anesthesia profession provides an opportunity to grow trust and understanding between these two professions that are critical for safe, healthy, and lasting partnerships in future years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1003
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
StatePublished - 2020


  • anesthesiologists
  • nurse anesthesia
  • preclinical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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