How Do You Become a Pain Management Nurse?

Becoming a pain management nurse takes a lot of training, but a lot of opportunities are made possible with the certification. In the most general sense, pain management nurses are advanced practice medical professionals who specialize in assessing chronic or acute sources of pain.


In addition to helping patients discover the root cause of the pain, they are also commonly found working in tandem with other nurses and doctors in order to provide a well-rounded network of care.

In order to deduce the exact cause of acute or chronic pain, the nurse will begin with a close objective examination and a self-report. The examination of the pain management nurse conducts will likely take place on several levels of their physiology: visceral, skeletal, muscular, and neurological.

The findings of the examination and the patient’s self-report of medical history will be cross-examined in order to draw the most likely probable causes of what might be causing the chronic or acute pain.

Pain management nurses not only provide direct care and assistance to other medical professionals, but also help educate the public on how to understand the unique causes of their pain and take appropriate measures to alleviate it. Though not all sources of pain may be completely curable, a pain management nurse can help give patients well-advised techniques and consultation to be able to manage their pain in a functional manner.

Becoming a Pain Management Nurse

Like other nursing professions, the path to becoming a pain management nurse usually begins with getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and an associate degree in nursing. Prospective pain management nurses might also be able to earn their certification by going through a specially targeted nursing diploma program.

To position themselves in the best possible area for progressing as a pain management nurse, it is highly advisable that us firing nurses earn specialization training in pain management and assessment specifically.

One of the most popular avenues for prospective pain management nurses to earn their certification is the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The American Nurses Credentialing Center covers all the bases in pain management to give those to graduate from it a well-rounded basic skill-set to serve their patients properly; these bases include pain assessment, reassessment, family education, cooperation, and specialized intervention techniques.

After earning their degree, a prospective pain management nurse will need to successfully pass the NCELX-RN exam in order to earn their official license, accordant to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. No official licensure is required after passing the NCELX-RN, but if the pain management nurse chooses to do so, they may further education by getting additional certification with a nursing Masters or doctorate.

Pain Management Nurse Job Outlook

Because there are so many different potential medical areas that a pain management specialist can be valuable in, those who earn the certification can choose to work in a wide variety of different settings. The different settings that a pain management nurse can operate in include nursing homes, outpatient clinics, conventional hospitals, emergency departments, and other areas.

Related Resource: What is a Health Policy Nurse?

A pain management nurse can be a patient care assistant, a staff nurse, a clinical nurse, or fulfill another supplemental role altogether. On average, most pain management nurses earn a salary ranging between 40,000 and $60,000 a year depending on their experience and skill level, according to PayScale.