New Jersey Supreme Court lets CRNA supervision rules stand

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 1, 2005

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The New Jersey Supreme Court last month upheld tighter office supervision rules for certified registered nurse anesthetists as set by the State Board of Medical Examiners.

The court agreed with a lower court ruling, which said an anesthesiologist or a physician with anesthesia privileges must supervise a CRNA during procedures performed in offices with a single surgical suite. Surgeries in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers already are regulated by state laws.

The rule, set by the state board, was a response to the growing number of procedures performed in small offices, said Joseph M. Gorrell, a Roseland, N.J., attorney who represented the New Jersey State Society of Anesthesiologists. The society argued in favor of tighter supervision rules.

Ervin Moss, MD, executive medical director for the New Jersey State Society of Anesthesiologists, said the court also had ruled that anesthesiologists were best qualified to protect patients and respond to complications that occur.

"The nurses tried to say their education is the same as a physician's," Dr. Moss said. "The court said education does matter, and a doctor is a doctor."

The New Jersey Assn. of Nurse Anesthetists had challenged the rules, saying they were not based on factual information and would harm the nursing profession in the state.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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