Pain management nurses are primarily responsible for providing care to patients struggling with chronic and debilitating pain. They are considered experts in providing pain management interventions.
To be a pain management nurses, you’ll need to undergo a lot of training to open yourself up to a lot of opportunities. If that’s something you are interested in, below is a step-by-step guide on how to become a pain management nurse.
The Path to Becoming a Pain Management Nurse
Like most nursing specialties, you’ll need a degree in Bachelor of Science in Nursing or an Associate Degree in Nursing. After completing an accredited nursing program, you’ll need to take and pass the NCLEX which is a requirement for your licensure.
If you wish to further your studies, you have 3 graduate level options to choose from:
Master’s Degree in Nursing- This typically takes about 2 to 3 years to complete. It requires taking additional coursework which can lead to acquiring more responsibility in your medical facility or advancements in the salary you earn.
Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing- If you choose this, you’ll have the opportunity to take on more educational roles in the healthcare and medical system.
Doctor of Nursing Practice- This takes about 1 to 3 years to complete. Taking this route will lead you to more research-oriented roles and a chance to receive a higher salary.
To start working as a pain management nurse, you’ll need to apply for your certification. For that, you need to be employed and working as a nurse caring for patients diagnosed with pain management issues within the last 3 years prior to your application for the certificate or a minimum of 2,000 hours.
Additionally, you’ll have to complete 30 hours of continuing nursing education, with 15 of those hours devoted to pain management.
The exam for the certification is composed of 175 questions. The certificate is valid for 5 years.
What Does A Pain Management Nurse Do?
Pain management nurses work as a part of multidisciplinary teams caring for patients with chronic pain. Their main focus is to maximize their patients’ quality of life.
Below is an overview of their duties and responsibilities:
- Assess patients’ level of pain
- Work with doctors and the rest of the healthcare team in creating a plan of care for the patients
- Administer medications and provide pain relief
- Teach patients and family ways to alleviate pain
- Monitor patients receiving pain medications and conscious sedation
- Keep and review medical records
- Assist physicians in performing invasive pain management techniques and treatment
See Also: Nursing Care Plan for Pain Management
To give you a clearer idea, here’s an example of proper pain assessment and management:
Some of the cases you’ll be working on include nerve and spinal injuries, chronic headaches, degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, diabetic nerve pain, and radiculopathy.
Where Can You Work?
As a pain management nurse, you have a lot of opportunities. You can be employed in any of the following medical settings:
- Outpatient clinics
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Private medical offices
- Sports medicine
- Nursing homes
- Emergency departments
The Salary of Pain Management Nurses
The salary of nurses in this specialty can vary depending on several factors, like experience and education. However, on average, you can earn about $110,000 per year. That’s about $53 per hour.
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