Ep 184: CRNA Manpower – Trends from the Past Decade & a Look Into the Future (Part 2)

Today we’re continuing the conversation with Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, on the history of CRNAs in the workforce. In part two, we’ll look at educational changes since 2010 along with the updated statistics on active professionals and students. We’ll also turn our attention to the future of anesthesia and discuss the trends that might be on the horizon.  

Check out the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

On our last episode, we began a conversation about the history of CRNAs in the workforce and a critical time in the 80s and 90s when manpower dropped and changes needed to be made.

Today we continue that discussion with show historians, Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, but the focus shifts to the years since 2010. With all of the studies published through the 90s and 2000s, what did it mean for the workforce over the past decade? Plus, what trends will take place in the coming years and decades as anesthesia continues to evolve?

We’ll discuss all that on this episode and we’ll all weigh in on what we think the workforce might look like for CRNAs in the future.

So as you listen to the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • Why there hasn’t been a comprehensive AANA manpower study published in nearly 15 years.
  • Educational programs on the rise over the past 10 years or so.
  • Statistics on the total number of CRNAs, students, and what that could mean for supply and demand.
  • The interesting findings from the 2019 Merritt Hawkins whitepaper on supply and demand.
  • The reasons why CRNAs leave and what are the motivating factors.
  • Trends that have been identified for the future of the profession and our thoughts on their likelihood.
  • What does the future of anesthesia look like in Nancy and Sandy’s opinion?

Check out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

[2:14] – No studies in last 13 years

[3:19] – Doctoral programs

[4:18] – Total number of CRNAs

[7:39] – 2019 Merritt Hawkins whitepaper

[15:32] – Why do CRNAs leave?

[17:44] – 10 trends for the future

[29:42] – Where does Nancy and Sandy see things going?

[31:07] – Healthcare expenses out of control

[35:28] – Wrapping up the conversation


“I think in some ways we’ll go back to the way that it used to be but it will be going back there with a lot more technology, a lot more knowledge, a lot of different ways to handle anesthesia that will make it safer.”

-Sandy Ouellette, CRNA

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Ep 183: CRNA Manpower – The History of Shortages and the Studies That Followed (Part 1)

Over the past five decades, quite a bit of attention has been paid to the challenges facing the CRNA workforce, especially when numbers dropped significantly in the 80s and 90s. The lack of manpower pushed Congress, the AANA, and other organizations to study the reasons behind the lack of graduates and determine what solutions might exist. Nancy Bruton-Maree, CRNA, and Sandy Ouellette, CRNA, join us today to take us back through the history of these shortages and the studies that followed in part one of this two-part series.

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