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Legislation Would Change Rules for Nurse Anesthetists

Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow nurse anesthetists to do their work without a doctor having to be in the room, supervising.

The plan would bring the state in line with nearly every other state in the U.S., allowing the specialized nurses - who go through similar training as anesthesiologists - to handle procedures.

Holly Wilke is a certified nurse anesthetist in southern Illinois. She says the change just makes sense.

"We pre-op our patient, we talk to them. We formulate a plan with the surgeon. We bring the patient to the room, we provide the anesthetic - if it's a spinal, intubating the patient for a general procedure. And we are with them the whole time."

A hearing on the proposal is scheduled for Wednesday in Springfield. Wilke says allowing the change would mean more access to care in rural areas like southern Illinois - because anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists could be free to work separately on their own cases.

Jennifer Fuller joined Capitol News Illinois in July 2023 as the organization’s broadcast director. She will oversee the launch and operations of CNI’s new broadcast division.

Contact Jennifer Fuller at jfuller@capitolnewsillinois.com
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