The National Association of PeriAnesthesia Nurses of Canada supports:


A.  The role of the Anesthesia Assistant as a member of the Anesthesia Care Team.  This role may be a Registered Nurse or a Respiratory Technologist who has met the prerequisites and successfully completed the appropriate educational and clinical requirements for this position.  To review the most recent curriculum developed by the Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society Task Force for the AA (which included representation from NAPANc), please click on this link:  National Educational Framework for Anesthesia Assistants.  (See also Educational Opportunities under "Education" at the top of this page)  Approved at the NAPANc Board of Director's Meeting, May 25, 2006.


B.  The role of the Advance Practice Nurse in Anesthesia.  This role is an autonomous nursing role requiring Master's level preparation at a recognized university.  (See Educational Opportunities under "Education" at the top of this page)  Approved at the NAPANc Board of Director's Meeting, May 25, 2006.

C.  Qualifications for Staffing PreAnesthesia Phases:  The role of the Registered Nurse is the necessary and duly qualified healthcare professional appropriate to the pre-surgery/anesthesia administration of complex health assessments and the preparation of the client in the PreAnesthesia phases.  The safety of clients must never "be compromised by substituting less qualified workers when the competencies of a Registered Nurse (RN) are required" (Canadian Nurses Association, 2003).  The competency of critical inquiry, unique to Registered Nurses, is required in the PreAnesthesia phases in order to anticipate/predict client outcomes from surgery and anesthesia by utilizing critical inqury to interpret and analyze preoperative data and assessments.  Critical inquiry leads to the recognition of the need for further PreAnesthesia diagnostic testing, consultations and/or further interventions and client education to prevent intraoperative and postoperative complications.   Approved by the NAPANc Board of Directors, April 25, 2013.   


Canadian Nurses Association. (2003). Position Statement. Staffing decisions for the delivery of safe nursing care. Retrieved from

Watch for the next issue of NAPANc's Standards for Practice, due for publication in 2014, for the complete Position Statements with background, guiding principles, outcome indicators and stakeholders. 

Additional information