Evidence-based Pain Management: The Growing Role of NPs/PAs

Primary care providers (PCPs) are responsible for almost half of all opioid prescriptions written in the US, and a recent study found that primary care NPs and PAs wrote more opioid prescriptions than their physician colleagues. However, limited time, training, and access to resources often make it difficult for these clinicians to effectively evaluate their patients presenting with pain and choose a treatment that best fits each patient’s needs.

This CME activity, Evidence-based Pain Management: Addressing the Growing Role of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in Managing Patients with Acute and Chronic Pain, will help community NPs and PAs use pain-assessment tools to evaluate patients, improve their familiarity with the FDA Blueprint guidelines for treatment selection, and understand when to use non-opioid pharmacotherapies for neuropathic pain.

Target Audience

This activity is intended for is clinicians involved in direct patient care, including HCPs who are registered with the DEA and eligible to prescribe all opioid analgesics. In addition, because of the broad scope of the revised FDA blueprint, the intended audience may include members of the healthcare team without authorization to prescribe.

Specifically, this education will be targeted to NPs and PAs who need to improve their ability to obtain a balance between optimal pain reduction and minimization of adverse events (e.g. abuse, addiction, side effects, and risk of workplace accidents).

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Incorporate tools to assist in assessing pain, stratifying risks
  • Evaluate components of effective treatment plan: acute vs chronic pain, treatment goals, multimodal strategies
  • Make evidence-based treatment plan recommendations: non-/pharmacologic and alternative therapies
  • When considering opioid therapy, assess potential for abuse and evidence-based monitoring
  • Discuss evidence-based options for opioid use disorder: physician-patient counseling, local/national/online resources

Additional Information

State Relevance: 
District of Columbia
New Jersey
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 


Jeremy A. Adler, DMSc, PA-C
Pain Management PA/COO
Pacific Pain Medicine Consultants
Oceanside, CA

Mr. Adler discloses the following:
Advisory Board: BioDelivery Sciences International, US WorldMeds;
Speaker’s Bureau: BioDelivery Sciences International, Daiichi Sankyo, Pfizer, Scilex

Christopher Gharibo, MD
Medical Director of Pain Medicine
NYU Langone Health
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Pain Medicine and Orthopedics
New York, NY

Dr. Gharibo discloses the following:
Consultant: Averitas, DSI, Persion, Salix;
Speaker’s Bureau: Scilex

Susan Pendergrass, MSN, MEd, APRN, FNP-BC
Nurse Practitioner
Independent Pain Consultant
Fernandina Beach, FL

Ms. Pendergrass discloses the following:
Advisory Board: Johnson & Johnson, Pear Therapeutics;
Consultant/Speaker’s Bureau: Johnson & Johnson

Aaron Williams, MA
Senior Director of Training and TA for Substance Use
National Council for Behavioral Health
Washington, DC

Mr. Williams has nothing to disclose.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy

USF Health endorses the standards of the ACCME that require everyone in a position to control the content of an accredited educational activity to disclose all financial relationships with commercial interests that are related to the content of the educational activity. All accredited activities must be balanced, independent of commercial bias, and promote improvements or quality in healthcare. All recommendations involving clinical medicine must be based on evidence accepted within the medical profession.

A conflict of interest is created when individuals in a position to control the content of an accredited educational activity have a relevant financial relationship with a commercial interest which therefore may bias his/her opinion and teaching. This may include receiving a salary, royalty, intellectual property rights, consulting fee, honoraria, stocks, or other financial benefits.

USF Health will identify, review, and resolve all conflicts of interest that speakers, authors, or planners disclose prior to an educational activity being delivered to learners. Disclosure of a relationship is not intended to suggest or condone bias in any presentation, but is made to provide participants with information that might be of potential importance to their evaluation of a presentation.

Accredited Provider Disclosures

Non-faculty content contributors and/or reviewers reported the following relevant financial relationships that they or their spouse/partner have with commercial interests:

Peer Reviewer, Martin Myers, MD: Advisory Board: Amgen

Chad Williamson, MS, MBA, CMMP; USF Health CPD staff: Nothing to disclose

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

The contents of some CME/CE activities may contain discussions of non-approved or off-label uses of some agents mentioned. Please consult the prescribing information for full disclosure of approved uses.

USF Health does not endorse any product, material, or service mentioned in association with this activity.

Jointly provided by USF Health and Rockpointe

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits

Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of USF Health and Rockpointe. USF Health is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation Statement

USF Health designates this enduring material for a maximum of 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AAPA Category 1 CME Credits

Accreditation Statement

This activity has been reviewed by the AAPA Review Panel and is compliant with AAPA CME Criteria.

Designation Statement

This activity is designated for 3 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. Approval is valid from 6/15/2020 to 6/15/2021. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation. AAPA reference number: CME-200578.

AANP Contact Hours

Accreditation Statement


This activity is approved for 3.0 contact hour(s) of continuing education (which includes 1.0 hours of pharmacology) by the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Activity ID 20054268. This activity was planned in accordance with AANP Accreditation Standards and Policies.

Available Credit

  • 3.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
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Prescription Opioid Drugs, Alternatives to Opioids, Opioid AbuseOpioid Dependence,

Pain MedicinePharmacologyOpioid Related DisorderSubstance AddictionSubstance Use-RelatedPain ManagementResponsible Prescribing of Controlled Substances

Substance Use DisorderOpioid