Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States for more than 150 years. The CRNA credential came into existence in 1956. CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer more than 49 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States. CRNAs are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America, enabling healthcare facilities in these medically underserved areas to offer obstetrical, surgical, pain management, and trauma stabilization services. As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs practice with a high degree of autonomy and professional respect. Before they can become CRNAs, graduates of nurse anesthesia educational programs must pass the National Certification Examination. When anesthesia is administered by a nurse anesthetist, it is recognized as the practice of nursing; when administered by a physician anesthesiologist, it is recognized as the practice of medicine. Regardless of whether their educational background is in nursing or medicine, all anesthesia providers give anesthesia the same way.