What does a pain management nurse do? Illness and injury is accompanied by pain. Millions of Americans live in constant pain on a daily basis. A pain management nurse is specialized in helping these people cope with, and manage their pain so they can live normal, functional lives.

Duties and Job Description of a Pain Management Nurse

Pain management nurses work in a variety of healthcare settings. Most commonly, they work in hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. They work closely with their patients in keeping track of all areas of their pain so that they can find the best and most effective ways to treat it. Once this pain management plan in put into motion, they will keep in close contact with the patient and their family so that they are aware of all outcomes. The pain management nurse also needs to monitor for pain medication addiction which is common in patients with chronic pain. The nurse will then report everything back to the managing doctor to determine the best course of action or if they should stay on the present course.

Chronic pain is a pain that lingers for a long period of time. The most common types of chronic pain are headaches and backaches. But Pain Management Nurses also see patients with chronic pain from sports injuries, arthritis, and fibromyalgia, just to name a few more. The Pain Management Nurse also treats acute pain which is pain that occurs suddenly, generally from an injury.

To determine what type of pain the patient is suffering from, the Pain Management Nurse will take the medical history and perform an exam of the patient, including x-rays other diagnostic tests. They are also in charge of administering medications or other types of alternative healing remedies.

Salary and Job Outlook for Pain Management Nurses

There is no salary information specific to Pain Management Nurses on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website, as they are typically RNs with additional credentials. Registered Nurses earned on average $89,010 in 2022, with the top 10 percent earning $129,400.

Nursing of all types is proving to be one of the fastest growing careers. The job outlook for Registered Nurses is projected to grow between now and 2031 is expected to grow by 6%!

Lightly edited for 2023.