Husband-Wife Jimmy and Robyn Decker are CRNA Colleagues Who Support Full Practice Authority

Jimmy Decker and his wife Robyn believe that CRNAs could be better utilized in today’s modern healthcare system. They work together as CRNAs at a regional medical center located in Catawba County, North Carolina. Jimmy is a United States Air Force Veteran and 32-year CRNA and Robyn has worked as a civilian CRNA for 11 years.

Jimmy joined the military in 1979 and was deployed to England during Desert Storm. During several of his duty stations he was assigned to small hospitals with a staff of only two CRNAs and two to four surgeons.
“At these facilities, the surgeons were very understanding of CRNAs’ capabilities and relied on us and other physicians to decide whether or not cases could be performed at our medical treatment facility due to complex care requirements,” he said. “We provided our input and performed anesthesia independently without supervision from anesthesiologists.”

In the Air Force, Jimmy performed a full range of anesthesia services including general and regional anesthesia, labor pain management and other pain management care. After retiring from the military in 1999, his scope of practice was limited at his first civilian job that utilized a supervisory model.

Today, he and his wife work as CRNAs at the same regional medical center. He said it’s nice being married to someone who understands the demands and stresses he faces at work.

While Robyn has never been in the military she, like Jimmy, has received the education and training to practice anesthesia autonomously. They both agree that allowing nurse anesthetists to practice independently will save patients time and money.

Jimmy refers to himself as a “military-trained pain killer” who loves his job.

“Ever since I was in anesthesia school, I’ve told people that working as a CRNA was what I was meant to do,” he said. “I’m getting into the latter years of my career, but I would have worked in this profession even if I made half of what I do.”

July 25 is the last day to comment on the VA proposed rule extending full practice authority to CRNAs working at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). Jimmy and Robyn wrote letters because they believe it’s important to utilize CRNAs to the fullest extent of their training and education. Visit to advocate for full practice authority for nurse anesthetists.