Ken Paxton


The practice of medicine includes the provision of anesthesia by a licensed physician.  However, pursuant to subsection 301.002(2)(G) of the Occupations Code, when a certified registered nurse anesthetist administers anesthesia pursuant to a physician’s delegation, such act falls within the scope of professional nursing.

The Legislature authorized the Texas Medical Board to take disciplinary action against a physician who delegates professional medical acts to a person whom the physician knows or should know is unqualified to perform the acts.  Thus, the Board possesses regulatory authority over a physician’s decision to delegate the providing and administration of anesthesia to a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

A certified registered nurse anesthetist does not possess independent authority to administer anesthesia without delegation by a physician.

Opinion File