Career Definition of a Pain Management Nurse Practitioner
Pain management nurse practitioners prescribe medications to patients and assess their condition. They are licensed nurse practitioners who have completed extra training to specialize in pain management. These individuals may spend a great deal of time monitoring patients, and they know how to classify the type of pain a patient is experiencing and determine if the medication the patient is receiving is effective.
In some cases, the pain management nurse practitioner may change medications to more effectively manage a patient's pain. They may also make other changes, such as altering the amount of medication the patient receives, and must be prepared to handle complications from long-term use of medication and monitor patients for signs of dependency or organ failure. Their qualifications enable them to identify potential side effects from medication, order medical tests and diagnose complications.
|Educational Requirements||Master's degree, pain management training, certification|
|Job Skills||Compassion, attention to detail, communication skills, problem-solving skills, interpersonal skills, teamwork skills|
|Mean Salary (2020)*||$94,494 per hour (pain management family nurse practitioners)|
|Job Outlook (2018-2028)**||28% (all nurse practitioners)|
Sources: *PayScale.com; **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Nurse practitioners must have a master's degree in nursing and be licensed. To specialize as pain management nurse practitioners, they can complete a pain management graduate certificate program and earn certification as a pain management nurse. It is also possible to specialize as a pain management nurse with a bachelor's degree but these pain management nurses are not nurse practitioners. This means that they are not qualified to diagnose patients or write prescriptions.
Pain management nurse practitioners must be able to collaborate and interact with other medical professionals so they need good teamwork skills. It is also important that they have strong communication and interpersonal skills, which will not only help them interact with other professionals but also help them communicate effectively with patients. Attention to detail is important because they must note any changes in a patient's condition that may indicate an issue with the type or amount of medication they are receiving. They need compassion because they may work with patients who are coping with long-term medical care or dying.
Career Outlook and Salary
PayScale.com reported that as of 2020, pain management family nurse practitioners earned an average salary of $94,494 per year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics includes pain management nurse practitioners in their listing for nurse practitioners. The BLS expects this group of professionals to see a 28% increase in employment from 2018 to 2028. This is more than five times the growth the BLS projects for all occupations during that ten year period.
Individuals considering a career as a pain management nurse practitioner may also be interested in other nursing specialties, such as working in oncology or geriatric nursing. Another option may be to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist assistant because they also help care for people experiencing pain. Learn more about these comparable career options through the links listed here.