The Pain Management Online Graduate Certificate program provides the comprehensive foundation you’ll need to understand the biological processes of pain and why certain treatments are effective in targeting the specific underlying mechanisms. In short, you’ll learn how pain works, how it is transmitted, and where it is coming from; its structure and function; and assumptions you can make based on the mechanisms and neurobiological pathways of pain. All courses are taught by top UConn pain management researchers, educators, and clinicians, each of whom has in-depth expertise in the field. Additional program highlights include:
Improving your ability to translate research from bench to bedside: Our goal is to teach students to be critical consumers of scientific literature. You’ll become familiar with various research models and what those models can tell you about pain, whether in your patients or your area of research. Knowing how to analyze the evidence behind specific treatments will enhance your ability to ask patients key questions and troubleshoot the root causes of their pain.
Flexible, collaborative online platform: All four courses are taught online. They are structured around weekly modules, each with a separate topic. Yes, there are deadlines, but our online platform—Husky CT/Blackboard—is asynchronous, enabling you to work at your own pace and on your own time, at home or at the office. The platform creates a highly interactive, collaborative experience. How? Faculty members post questions and opinions to a discussion board to which students add their responses—and can respond to each other, providing invaluable feedback and insights. In addition, students have the opportunity to critique important research findings and make presentations to their classmates, who can give feedback, fostering confidence and team building.
Covering a wide range of pain issues based on evidence: In NURS 5104: Seminar in Evidence Based Practice for Pain Management, presentations are given by various UConn faculty on specific issues related to the diagnosis of pain in vulnerable populations, from before birth through end-of-life. Each presenter evaluates, integrates, and translates findings from primary literature into evidence-based practice. A different topic is addressed each week. Presentations are pre-recorded and updated frequently. Students have the opportunity to post comments and ask questions, creating a lively discussion venue.
Diverse student population: Because the program is available online, we attract a rich diversity of students, including nurses specializing in neonatal or palliative care, clinicians working with adult patients in economically depressed areas, animal research scientists, physical therapists who work with athletes, people living with chronic pain who want to gain a better understanding of their own condition, and survivors of substance use disorders, among many others from all over the world. With the collaborative nature of our online platform, students are able to benefit greatly from the diverse experiences of their classmates. Each student brings his or her own experiences to the table—so important because of the complexity of pain issues. For example, each writing assignment asks students to draw upon their unique experiences in their profession or personal life.
Broad subject matter: One of the four courses is a seminar focused on human clinical applications, but the rest of the content pulls from human and nonhuman animal research to provide students with fundamental knowledge of pain treatments, from drug discovery to bedside application. This is especially true of the pharmacology course (NURS5102) which focuses on translational research and the strengths and limitations of studying pain in people and animals.
Immersion in research-informed content: UConn is designated as a R1 Research University, the highest designation of research activity. As such, the content of the program is developed by a community of UConn scholars and faculty conducting cutting-edge research right here at our Storrs campus and affiliated medical centers. So the knowledge you gain is based upon the best available evidence of what’s likely to be most effective with the populations of individuals you will be working with.
Credits apply toward licensure in pain management: This four-course program satisfies 12 of the 15 continuing education credits required to become certified in pain management through the American Society for Pain Management Nursing. In addition, for those seeking licensure in pain management through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), some or all of this certificate’s coursework may be applied towards the continuing education requirements.
Certificate credentials are UConn credentials: Just like every undergraduate and graduate degree our students earn, every online graduate certificate we award bears the signature of the University of Connecticut—it’s your assurance that your credentials come straight from one the nation’s Top 25 public universities. And all courses are taught by the same faculty members who teach our on-campus undergraduate and graduate-level courses. Many are tenured and each brings a wealth of real-world work experience to “class.” And they are committed to continually adapting the curriculum to reflect the latest trends and treatments in pain management.
Two start dates each year: Our courses are structured to allow entry into the program at the start of each semester, so there is no need to wait to get started. Based on your schedule and work-life needs, you may take one or two courses per semester, completing the certificate in as little as nine months.