Pain management nurses perform a range of duties related to monitoring patients for signs of pain, and then adjusting the dosage of certain medications as needed. Most individuals who are employed in this specific field will work closely with men and women who have suffered traumatic injuries or who have been through rather extensive surgeries. It is their primary task to ensure that such patients are comfortable, and that the prescribed medicine does not cause any adverse reactions within the body.
Nurses will need a bachelor’s degree, which will require extensive course work in both the natural and biological sciences. Students can also expect to become well-versed in physics, chemistry, and math. All of these subjects are interrelated and form the core of the nursing major. Once students have obtained a four-year degree from an accredited college or university, the licensing exam must be passed. With official licensing comes the title of Registered Nurse. Most pain management nurses will start their careers in emergency room settings. After gaining valuable experience, they may begin to transition into pain management, and may take on the other duties that come along with it.
Because these types of nurses are so versatile, they may end up working in a number of different settings. Large urban hospitals are the most obvious, but they may also be employed at rehabilitation clinics and even at nursing homes, where they may be intimately involved in administering palliative care. Nurses that are planning on working in a specific region or metropolitan area should look into possible job opportunities while they are still in clinical training so that they can gauge the job market.
Most pain management nurses do quite well in terms of salary. After they have been properly licensed and certified and been through the appropriate clinical rotations, they can expect to make between $75,000 and $100,000 per year. They are paid well because they are key figures in any medical setting, and work closely with physicians and other specialists in order to manage pain, one of the most important duties in the field of medicine.
There should be no shortage of work for pain management nurses in the coming years. The best opportunities for career advancement are in hospitals. However, as the population continues to age, more of these nurses will be needed in assisted living complexes, nursing homes, and other retirement communities. The general trend is for the profession to broaden in scope, so that nurses who complete the required rigorous training should have plenty of employment possibilities.
Other Nursing Options Similar to Pain Management Nursing
Pain management nurses work closely with trauma nurses, and in reality some of the duties may overlap. Nurses that begin their careers in the emergency room may eventually come to focus specifically on managing pain. Students who are interested in determining their specific career track should hold discussions with nurses already working in the field in order to determine particular duties in different clinical settings.