Nonsurgical Pain Management (NSPM) Subspecialty Credential:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The FAQs below are also available for download as a PDF.
nonsurgical pain management (NSPM)?
NSPM is the administration of
neural or neuraxial blockade, physiological, pharmacological, and psychological
techniques and modalities for the management of acute and chronic pain outside
the obstetrical and operating room areas. (This may include the assessment,
planning, implementation, and evaluation of multimodal approaches in providing
What are the
eligibility criteria for the NSPM credential?
eligibility criteria for the NSPM credential include:
Current nurse anesthesia clinical
- Completion of education activity
that demonstrates knowledge in the following areas within the immediate prior 4
years from the date of application: physiology and pathophysiology of pain; imaging safety; assessment/diagnosis/integration/referral;
pharmacological treatment; interventional pain strategies; and professional
of a practice portfolio.
completion of an assessed NSPM cadaver or assessed simulation course.
Individuals who meet the
eligibility criteria may sit for the NSPM certification examination. Successful
completion of the NSPM subspecialty certification examination is required to
obtain the NSPM credential and use the designation NSPM-C.
applications for the NSPM credential be available?
The NBCRNA expects that we
will start accepting NSPM applications the beginning of 2015. More information
will be available on the NBCRNA website in the coming months.
How much will
the NSPM subspecialty credential cost?
NBCRNA is currently developing the NSPM certification examination. A total cost
for this subspecialty credential has not been determined.
How will I find
NSPM-specific continuing education (CE) offerings?
The NBCRNA will request that CE vendors
identify if their CE course(s) are NSPM focused as defined by the NBCRNA, and
whether any of the CE activity content is specific to the six NSPM curricular
What will the
NSPM examination cover?
The NSPM subspecialty examination will
assess a nurse anesthetist’s competence of needle placement in three anatomical
approaches (i.e., midline, lateral, peripheral) and four anatomical regions
(i.e., cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and sacral), as well as assess knowledge
related to the NSPM certification examination content outline.
How long is the
NSPM certification examination?
The NSPM certification examination will
consist of 150 scored multiple choice questions and 2-3 clinical scenario
items. The total time allowed for the examination will be four hours or 240
minutes. The NSPM certification examination will not be computer adaptive.
Clinical scenario items (CSIs) are test
questions that use clinical scenarios to assess the decision making
capabilities of the examinee. The examinee is presented with a base clinical
patient scenario and multiple possible actions to manage the patient. Through
the course of the examinee’s selections, additional information regarding the
patient is provided. These CSIs add value to the examination experience by replicating
a patient and nurse anesthetist’s interactions.
When does the
NSPM certification need to be renewed?
NBCRNA has developed continued NSPM subspecialty certification criteria and
this information is posted on the NBCRNA website.
If initial NSPM certification is
obtained prior to the start of the CPC program on 1/1/2016, the initial NSPM
certification will expire at the completion of the nurse anesthetist’s first
full CPC cycle (i.e., 2020 or 2021).
If initial NSPM certification is
obtained after the start of the CPC program on 1/1/2016, the initial NSPM
certification will expire at the completion of the nurse anesthetist’s current
NSPM subspecialty certification is valid for four years and is in alignment
with the nurse anesthetist’s individual CPC cycle. Continued NSPM subspecialty
certification requires an individual to complete the NSPM examination every
eight years in order to be compliant with the program.
Copyright © 2016 by the National Board
of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). All