Our Patients. Our Profession. Our Practice. The mission of the Maryland Association of Nurse Anesthetists is to ensure patient safety, increase public awareness and protect CRNAs and their practices. For more than 150 years, nurse anesthetists have been providing anesthesia care to patients in the United States. The CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist) credential came into existence in 1956. CRNAs are anesthesia professionals who safely administer approximately 43 million anesthetics to patients each year in the United States.