Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship

Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) have partnered to offer a postgraduate Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship (ASPMF) beginning summer 2017 through the graduate school located in Madison, Tennessee. The objective of this new certificate program, a component of the AANA Pain Management Curriculum, is to advance the knowledge and skills of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) in acute surgical pain management and prepare them to help meet the growing need for this evidence-based approach in the United States.


  • October 1, 2017 – Application Period Opens
  • December 1, 2017 – Application Period Closes
  • January 8, 2018 – First Course Begins


Program Overview»
Application Checklist»
Fellowship Handbook
Curriculum Map»
Reference Form»
Program Faculty»


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Program Overview

CRNAs = Part of the Solution to a Growing Need
The field of pain management is continually growing. As the baby boom generation ages, increasing numbers of patients will undergo surgery, and CRNAs will be responsible for managing these patients’ acute pain. The AANA/MTSA Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship will equip CRNAs with the necessary knowledge and skill-sets to meet this growing demand. From medical management approaches, such as multimodal therapies and opioid sparing strategies, to advanced interventional techniques, including continuous catheter utilization, CRNAs will acquire the knowledge to treat these patients with confidence and skill.

The Program Process
The ASPMF consists of a classroom component offered via distance education (didactic education) and a clinical component (proctored hands-on clinical experience offered through one or more clinical sites). Fellows will learn innovative techniques including multimodal and interventional therapies to manage acute surgical pain, while developing business management proficiency.

Topics of study include:

  • Legal, ethical, and professional issues related to acute surgical pain management
  • Psychosocial, spiritual, and cultural dimensions of acute surgical pain
  • Non-allopathic considerations for acute surgical pain management
  • Physiological aspects of pain
  • Assessment and evaluation of the patient with acute surgical pain
  • Pharmacogenetics, dynamics, and kinetics related to acute surgical pain management
  • Technical interventions for the management of acute pain
  • Foundations of initiating an acute pain service
  • Business fundamentals in acute pain management

Admission Requirements
To be admitted, a prospective fellow must be a CRNA with an active, unencumbered license. Completion of a basic and advanced-cadaveric ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia workshop is required prior to enrollment in the program. Watch the AANA website and Anesthesia E-ssential for announcements and registration details; visit the AANA Pain Management Webpage:

Application Checklist

  • Completed Application Form
  • $60 Application fee
  • RN License
  • APRN License
  • NBCRNA Certification
  • AANA Membership
  • Current CV
  • Proof of Basic and Advanced Cadaveric Workshops completion (if in progress, must be completed before interviews in June)
  • Case Logs for most recent 12 months
  • Personal Essay
  • 3 Reference forms completed
  • HIPPA/OSHA Training
  • Personal Health Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

How many years of experience are required to apply?

There is no minimum requirement for experience for fellows to be admitted into the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship (ASPMF). Admitted fellows must be, at the time of application, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists actively practicing anesthesia within their home state.

How much is tuition?

The current cost to attend the fellowship for the entire one-year duration is $15,000.  Two payments of $7,500 are required; one at the beginning of the program; the other four months later.  An additional clinical fee of $2,500 per week will be required to rotate at training sites established by ASPMF. To complete the fellowship, one week of clinical training at a ASPMF site will be required prior to be awarded a certificate of completion. Additional weeks will be available at ASPMF approved clinical sites to obtain the regional block numbers required to complete the fellowship.

What are the prerequisites to be admitted for the fellowship program?

The applicant must be an actively practicing CRNA and have completed a Basic Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia (USGRA) and an advanced cadaveric USGRA workshop before being considered for admission into the ASPMF.

There are several anesthesia education companies that offer both types of courses to fulfill this entry requirement. The following is a partial list of anesthesia education companies offering these types of courses.

  • Maverick Anesthesia Education:
  • Western Reserve Anesthesia Education:

Does one size fit all, or is the program individualized based on the applicant’s experience?

The didactic curriculum is structured to prepare the CRNA for advanced training in acute surgical pain management. The clinical component of the fellowship offers an opportunity for the fellow the option of receiving additional clinical training in areas of acute surgical pain management where a deficiency in knowledge or training might be present.

I have some experience in doing USGRA, will that be considered (will I get some credit) in my application process?

Consideration will be given to all applicants who sufficiently meet the admission criteria for entry into ASPMF. The applicant must take into account the required time, expense, and effort that may be required to fulfill the clinical requirements of the ASPMF. CRNAs actively practicing USGRA before admission will better adapt to the fast paced environment of the clinical sites established by the ASPMF. Clinical site selection and development by the ASPMF has primarily focused on clinical sites that perform a wide variety of acute pain services to a large volume of patients.

What is your class size?

The Council on Accreditation has approved 12 fellows to be admitted twice a year.

Do the fellows choose their clinical sites?

Clinical site selection by fellows is the ASPMF preference; however, final determination of dates and clinical training site selection will be at the discretion of director of the fellowship.

Are online classes available?

The first seven months of the ASPMF fellowship is entirely online and presented on the Design 2 Learn platform. Attendance at an advanced cadaver workshop held by Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia will be required by each fellow to demonstrate mentoring and teaching skills for participates of the workshop. This course is held on a single weekend, multiple times of the year. More information about dates and details of this workshop will be available upon application into the ASPMF.

What is the relationship to the AANA?

The ASPMF at Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia has partnered with the AANA for this fellowship program in acute pain management. Their collaboration and our combined efforts will make this a high quality educational experience for CRNAs desiring advanced skills and knowledge in acute pain management.

Will I receive a national certification after successful completion of the course?

Currently, the ASPMF is working with the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA) to establish a national credentialing exam for CRNAs in acute management of pain. More information about this will be forthcoming in the next several months.