Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)

Male nurse wearing blue scrubs, cap and latex gloves holding medical equipment while assisting with intubation of a patient in the operating room

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs)

What is a CRNA? 

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners that have provided anesthesia care to patients for over 150 years. They safely administer more than 50 million anesthetics annually to patients in the United States. 

CRNAs practice in every setting in which anesthesia is delivered: traditional hospital surgical suites and obstetrical delivery rooms; critical access hospitals; ambulatory surgical centers; ketamine clinics; the offices of dentists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons, and pain management specialists; and U.S. military, Public Health Services, and Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities. 

CRNA preparation requires at least 7–8.5 calendar years of education and experience. CRNAs have a baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing and work at least one year as a Registered Nurse in a critical care setting. They graduate with a master’s or doctorate degree from a nurse anesthesia educational program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. 

History of CRNAs at UW

Dr. Fred Cheney, Vice Charmain of the Department of Anesthesia, advocated for the hiring of CRNAs within the University of Washington Medical Center system in May of 1980. Loretta Wassee was the first CRNA hired to work at the Seattle Veteran’s Administration, an affiliate of UW Medical Center. Within six months,  six more CRNAs were hired at UW Medical Center. Today, CRNAs are an integral part of anesthesia delivery at Harborview Medical Center, Roosevelt Clinic, Seattle Children’s Hospital, UW Medical Center – Montlake, and UW Medical Center – Northwest.

Practicing throughout the UW Medicine System

female nurse wearing blue surgical scrubs and orange cap attending to patient on a gurney in the operating room

Number of CRNAs working at each location:

  • Harborview Medical Center: 48
  • Roosevelt Clinic: 15
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital: 26
  • UW Medical Center – Montlake: 60
  • UW Medical Center – Northwest: 20

Providing care for a variety of patients across the UW system 

female nurse wearing blue scrubs and cap giving an injection to a patient sitting on a gurney

Care across the UW system

CRNAs at Harborview provide anesthesia for adult and pediatric trauma patients, burns, neurosurgery, orthopedics, general surgery, ophthalmology, urology, gynecology, maxillofacial, ENT, and plastics cases.

There are two operating rooms at Roosevelt Clinic where CRNAs from UW Medical Center – Montlake provide anesthesia for various orthopedic, Sports Medicine, plastics, pain, and urology cases. CRNAs frequently perform Bier blocks at Roosevelt Clinic.

CRNAs work at Seattle Children’s Main Campus and Bellevue Surgery Center doing neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, gynecology, otolaryngology, ophthalmology, dental, dermatology, general surgery, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Interventional Radiology, off-site radiology, and plastics cases.  Children’s expanding surgical volume of high-risk pediatric patients requires an accomplished CRNA team with a high degree of both clinical skill and acumen.

There are 30 operating rooms at UW Medical Center – Montlake and 11 non-operating room anesthesia sites including Gastroenterology, Cath Lab, Electrophysiology, Structural Hearts, and Interventional Radiology. CRNAs at Montlake provide over 14,000 anesthetics per year for various cases including neurosurgery, robotics, DIEP flaps, HIPEC, kidney transplants, liver donors, ENT flaps, gynecology, urology, plastic surgery, orthopedics, colorectal, spine, and vascular cases. CRNAs frequently place arterial lines, place central lines, and perform spinals.

CRNAs staff 16 operating rooms with 12 at the main campus and four at the outpatient surgical center. The case mix includes general, orthopedics (trauma and total joints), urology, gynecology, spine, neurosurgery, vascular, robotics, ENT, eye procedures, endoscopy, Interventional Radiology, and pediatric eye cases. Additionally, CRNAs provide OB weekend coverage and staff the Pre-Anesthesia Clinic. CRNAs frequently do spinals, regional blocks, arterial lines, and occasionally central lines.

CRNA Chiefs and Leadership

male nurse wearing purple surgical scrubs, cap, white mask and blue gloves attending to a patient on a gurney with two men wearing scrubs observe in the operating room.

Chiefs and Leadership

Seattle Children’s Hospital 


Harborview Medical Center 


UW Medical Center – Montlake


UW Medical Center –  Northwest


Please visit ‘Careers‘ page to apply for CRNA positions.