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Description of Program

The complaint of pain continues to be the most common reason patients seek care in the United States (AMA Pain Care Task force, 2020). Patients need individualized care to treat their pain with evidence-based practice, knowledge of options, and compassion. This program addresses pharmacological (opioid and nonopioid) and nonpharmacologic treatment options for common painful conditions evaluated by providers.

This program addresses the following painful conditions:

  • Low back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Peripheral neuropathies
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Arthritis of knee/hip
  • Rotator Cuff tear

For each condition, the history, symptoms, diagnostic criteria, physical examination, diagnostic studies, differential diagnoses and treatment considerations are discussed.

Pharmacological (opioid and nonopioid) and nonpharmacologic treatment options are presented. When opioid pharmacologic management is required, recommendations on dosage limitations/titration, and risk factors for abuse are discussed.

Who Should Enroll in this Program?

This independent study program is designed for English-speaking health practitioners (nurses, advanced practice registered nurses, pharmacists) needing continuing education for pharmacological (opioid and nonopioid) and nonpharmacologic treatment options for patients with pain and other healthcare professionals who want to enhance or develop knowledge in the topic.

Program Content

A textbook is not required for this program.

Learning Outcome

The learning outcome of this learning activity is to enable the learner to employ evidence-based guidelines in the care of patients with common painful conditions.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, the participant will be able to:

  1. Discuss anatomy, etiology, risk factors, and physical exam for common painful conditions seen in the primary care setting.
  2. Identify diagnostic studies necessary in the evaluation of common painful conditions.
  3. Recognize “red flags” for certain conditions.
  4. Describe opioid, nonopioid, and nonpharmacologic treatment options for common painful conditions and specific characteristics of each.
  5. Review opioid medications and become comfortable with opioid conversions.
  6. Identify clinical pearls in choosing the most appropriate medication for a specific patient.
  7. Describe side effects, monitoring parameters, and contraindications associated with medications used for pain management.

Delivery of Content

The learner will log into the program via the internet and work independently through the content. The independent study provides an opportunity to learn while in the comfort of your own home or office. Program staff are available during business hours by phone or email to assist participants with technical issues or concerns. Questions regarding content can be directed to the contributors of the content. After the learner works through the content, she/he will complete the program evaluation.

Note: Many businesses, especially government agencies or health institutions, utilize security firewalls. Firewalls could block access to web links within program. We recommend not using your work email address for this course.

If you have trouble hearing the recordings, please check your volume settings.

Contact Hours

2 contact hours specific to opioid, nonopioid, and nonpharmacologic content for painful conditions

The University of Southern Indiana designates this activity for 2 contact hours. Two hours of this content meets the pharmacology continuing education requirements for the renewal of the advanced practice registered nurse prescriptive authority license.

The University of Southern Indiana designates one hour of this content as continuing education hours for the requirements of the MATE Act.  Effective June 27, 2023, the DEA now requires that the nearly 2 million DEA licensees nationally demonstrate that they have completed eight hours of relevant accredited education before they obtain a new license or renew their current licenses. 

The University of Southern Indiana Center for Health Professions Lifelong Learning designates this knowledge based Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) activity for 2 contact hours for completion of this program. Pharmacists who request to have their contact hours reported to the Certified Pharmacy Education Monitor (CPE) must indicate this request during registration and include the correct NABP e-PID# and Birthdate (mmdd).

The University of Southern Indiana Center for Health Professions Lifelong Learning designates this activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity

Successful completion of this program does not guarantee expertise in the content. Clinical experience and judgment coupled with an understanding of the content are necessary to attain competency. Achieving certification is a means to demonstrate competency.

Criteria for Successful Completion

  • Submit registration and payment.
  • Review the content of the program.
  • Complete the program quiz and evaluation.

The certificate of completion will be contained in an autogenerated email sent upon the completion of the combined program quiz and evaluation.

Faculty Names and Credentials

We strive to provide interprofessional education by utilizing a variety of content experts, instructors, contributors, and reviewers.

Laura Stewart, MSN, RN, FNP-BC
Holly Jahn, PharmD, CSP

Conflict of Interest Statement

No individual in a position to control content has any relevant financial relationships.

Expiration date: July 1, 2024.

Accreditation Statements

In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by the University of Southern Indiana Center for Health Professions Lifelong Learning (CHPLL). The CHPLL is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

State of Indiana

The University of Southern Indiana is an approved provider of continuing education for several professionals licensed in the state of Indiana, including social workers, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and dental professionals.

State of California

The University of Southern Indiana is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing. Provider #13378.

Online Registration Form

To Register: Click on the link above. We recommend utilizing Chrome or Firefox with a computer or tablet to register for our programs.

Once registration is complete you will receive an email with a link to the content.

Enrollment Cost


The fee includes access to the evaluation and continuing education credit.

Refund Policy

There will be no refunds for this program.

Questions? Call toll-free 1-877-USI-HLTH (874-4584) or 812-461-5217 or email

System Requirements for Online Learning