Colorado Supreme Court Says Nurses Can Keep Administering Anesthesia

June 2, 2015
Photo: Colorado Supreme Court
The Colorado Supreme Court courtroom, located on the fourth floor of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, in Denver, Colorado.

urse anesthetists are allowed to administer anesthesia without a doctor’s supervision, ruled the Colorado Supreme Court on Monday. 

Nurses, especially in rural areas, have been doing that since former Governor Bill Ritter allowed the practice in 2010 by opting out of a national Medicare requirement. 

The Colorado Hospital Association says Monday's ruling is a victory. Gail Finley, Vice President of CHA's Rural Health and Regulatory Policy, says the decision avoided many headaches for rural hospitals.

"Surgeries might have had to have been canceled. Patients might have had to have traveled elsewhere to get things rescheduled in the next few weeks. There could have a scramble trying to hire or locate anesthesiologists or other surgeons that were willing to provide the oversight.”  

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