Take a moment to read  Dennis Spence's write up on NBCRNAs latest study about CRNAs perceived value of the CRNA credential.

Value of the Credential Survey Results - What do the results mean to CRNAs?

A strategic goal of the NBCRNA is to communicate the value of the credential to our stakeholders. Some of our stakeholders include practicing CRNAs, employers, and the public, specifically the patients that are entrusted to CRNA care. The NBCRNA worked with CRNA volunteers and subject matter experts to develop a multi-phase research initiative to collect a 360-degree perspective on the value of the CRNA credential from these stakeholders. The first phase focused on feedback from CRNAs regarding their level of satisfaction, and perceptions on the value and quality that the CRNA credential represents. In subsequent phases, we will narrow our focus to examine CRNAs’, employer’s, and the public’s perceptions on the value and benefits of continued board certification through participation in the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program.

Some may ask why should we even bother obtaining feedback on the value of the CRNA credential when certification as a CRNA is required to practice?

There are several reasons. For one, I would say it helps communicate to stakeholders the level of quality the CRNA credential represents and how our rigorous initial and continued board certification process helps set us apart from other providers. It helps the NBCRNA and our stakeholders understand how satisfied and proud CRNAs are with their chosen profession and better understand those factors that contribute to the value of the credential. For the NBCRNA, it helps us understand how we can improve our communication with practicing CRNAs and identify areas for improvement.

What did we find in this first phase?

First, I would like to thank the 10,095 practicing CRNAs out of the 54,725 who took the time to respond. That’s an incredible 18% response rate. We found that 87% of CRNAs are satisfied with their credential, 96% were personally satisfied with being a CRNA, and 94% agreed being a CRNA has given them greater job satisfaction. Ninety-two percent (92%) felt the credential was somewhat or extremely valuable to them, 93% agreed they were proud to have the CRNA credential, and 92% agreed earning the CRNA credential was a significant personal achievement. Most CRNAs (86%) responded that the CRNA credential represents good or excellent quality and 91% agreed the CRNA credential represents good or excellent quality.


In contrast, a few survey items received lower ratings from CRNAs. Only 66% agreed that the CRNA credential elevates patients’ view of their professional expertise. Based on open-ended comments, a possible explanation, is that patients are not always familiar with what a CRNA is and what we do. This finding suggests a need for improvement in communication to the public on what a CRNA is and the level of quality the credential represents.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of CRNAs believe that the certification requirements are appropriate. Some CRNAs left comments that indicated some dissatisfaction with the Continued Professional Certification (CPC) Program. This finding is consistent with what other credentialing organizations have found when eliciting feedback on requirements for maintaining certification. However, they do indicate that we at the NBCRNA can do a better job of communicating with our CRNAs on the CPC Program requirements and consider feedback from our certificants on how to make the program better.  

As a practicing CRNA, I would say these results are not surprising. I am extremely proud to be a CRNA and I would not have chosen any other profession. It is nice to see my colleagues feel that same way and that the credential is valuable to them and represents good or excellent quality.

Next Steps

I believe that the requirements for continued board certification as a CRNA help me keep up the nurse anesthesia knowledge I need to provide high quality care to my patients. However, I recognize that some of my colleagues may not agree. In our next research phase, we plan to survey CRNAs on their perceptions on the value of continued board certification through participation in the CPC Program. We want to understand if the CPC Program components are helping CRNAs keep up the knowledge needed for practice and encourage lifelong learning. I look forward to the feedback so please watch for an email requesting CRNA participation in this survey in 2021.

More information on NBCRNA’s research initiatives can be found on the Research page of the NBCRNA website To read the full report or executive summary, click below.

Download Executive Summary

Download Full Study