Nonsurgical Pain Management

In response to challenges continually faced by many nurse anesthetists who practice nonsurgical pain management (NSPM), the NBCRNA developed a voluntary subspecialty certification for nurse anesthetists in Nonsurgical Pain Management (NSPM-C) in 2014. The NSPM credential program measures the knowledge, skills, and abilities of NBCRNA-certified registered nurse anesthetists for practice in the NSPM field. It requires advanced, subspecialty knowledge beyond that required for initial certification of nurse anesthetists.

Nurse anesthetists who are currently certified by the NBCRNA and meet other specified criteria are eligible to apply for NSPM certification. The NSPM exam is a four-hour, computer-based assessment, featuring 150 multiple-choice questions and three clinical-scenario items. It is typically offered twice per year at test centers in the U.S. This certification is time-limited and must be renewed.

Those who meet the criteria for the NSPM subspecialty certification and wishing to pursue the certification can apply to take the exam during the window dates below.


Application Windows for NSPM Exam- 2017 & 2018
If you are planning to take the NSPM Examination, contact NBCRNA at or (855) 285-4658 to have an application activated.

In 2017, the NBCRNA will offer the NSPM Examination on the following dates:

Applications for Exam Accepted

Test Dates

10/2/17 - 10/27/17 11/27/17 - 12/11/17

In 2018, the NBCRNA will offer the NSPM Examination on the following dates:

Applications for Exam Accepted

Test Dates

4/9/18 - 5/4/18 6/11/18 - 6/25/18
9/24/18 - 10/19/18 11/26/18 - 12/10/18

Total Number of NSPM certificants
Since the inception of the NSPM program in 2015, through September 2017, 20 CRNAs now hold the NSPM-C credential. There have been a total of 24 exam attempts. During FY 2015 (9/1/14-8/31/15) and FY 2016 (9/1/15-8/31/16), 14 CRNAs passed the NSPM exam and two failed, for FY 2017 (9/1/16-8/31/17) six CRNAs passed the exam, for a total pass rate of 83.3%. The next exam window is in Fall 2017 -- see above table. 

In August 2017 the NBCRNA's Non-Surgical Pain Management (NSPM) program was granted accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification through August 2022.
Learn more about the criteria for the NSPM subspecialty certification.