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Pain Management Nurse

Pain management nurses provide care to patients with acute and chronic pain in various part of their body. Many times they treat patients who experience pain from cancer treatments, labor and delivery, post surgery, accidents and other causes. Pain management nurses apply their knowledge of pain and standard patient care, including pain assessment, identifying pain sources, pain patterns and pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments. All of these steps will help diagnose and treat patients’ pain, as well as focus on preventative care and ways to manage pain. According to the American Society for Pain Management Nursing, nurses often treat patients with drug and alcohol addictions, but must maintain a fine balance between implementing pain relief and protecting against prescription drug abuse.

In order to become a pain management nurse, students have to be a licensed registered nurse prior to certification. Therefore, they must first complete an approved registered nursing program, including a diploma or an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Then, all students must take and pass a national licensing exam, called the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Students have to practice as a full-time RN for two years and complete at least 2,000 hours of nursing work in pain management, before they are eligible to take the Pain Management Nurse Certification Examination. Eligibility requirements for licensure in pain management nursing may vary by each nurses’ state of residence, experience and education level.

As a whole, pain management nurses should continue to have favorable job opportunities because of an aging population and greater need to treat individuals who experience pain. According to PayScale, certified pain management nurses made a median salary of $76,367 in 2009. Pain management nursing is a rewarding specialty, in which patients are relieved of their pain and learn how to manage it on their own.