Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship -- For CRNAs only

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) through the graduate school located in Madison, Tennessee. The objective of this 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.

This unique post-graduate fellowship utilizes evidence-based knowledge to provide a clinically oriented multidisciplinary training environment for the comprehensive treatment of acute surgical pain. Fellows will learn advanced techniques for managing patients’ acute post-surgical pain through hands-on ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia (USGRA) training, online discussions and coursework, as well as clinical opportunities with mentors experienced in acute surgical pain management.

ASPMF Application Cycles and Deadlines for 2022-2023

Application Cycle Application Deadline Semester Start Date
January 1 – June 1 June 1 August 29, 2022
July 1 – November 1 November 1 January 9, 2023

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 skillsets 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.

The MTSA Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship embodies a set of goals and competency-based objectives as desired components of advanced education and training in Acute Surgical Pain Management. Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia (MTSA) is committed to the ongoing development and delivery of acute surgical pain management interventions. Through an innovative and comprehensive curriculum, Fellows will utilize evidence-based interventions in order to facilitate optimal patient outcomes.

The focus of this Fellowship includes the management of pain in the perioperative setting for patients across the lifespan who are undergoing inpatient or outpatient surgical procedures.

The Fellowship is 12 months in length and is divided into 3 courses over 3 semesters (15 weeks each). The Fellow will experience the didactic portion of the program concurrently with the clinical section of the program.  Those Fellows solely enrolled in the ASPMF begin coursework in either August or January and complete the program within one year.

Those Fellows simultaneously enrolled in both the ASPMF and the DNAP-C program will begin coursework in September and complete both programs within two years.


Highlights of the ASPM Fellowship curriculum include:

  • Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS): Online modules and hands-on workshops for Focused Assessed Transthoracic Echocardiography (FATE), Focused Assessment using Sonography for Trauma (FAST) and Rapid Ultrasound for Shock and Hypotension (RUSH) protocols
  • Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS): Quality improvement initiative that focuses on a perioperative patient’s continuum of care.
  • Pathophysiology of acute pain: Focusing on the neurophysiological mechanisms responsible for the development and persistence of chronic pain.


ASPMF Course Sequence

Semester Course # Course Name and Description Credit Hours
1 ASPMF 600


Principles and Pharmacology of Acute Pain Management 3
  ASPMF 610


ASPMF Clinical Practicum I 3
2 ASPMF 620


Techniques of Acute Pain Management 3
  ASPMF 630


ASPMF Clinical Practicum II 3
3 ASPMF 640


Acute Pain Management Education, Business and Evidence Practice 3
  ASPMF 650


ASPMF Clinical Practicum III 3


Topics of Study

  • Perioperative point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) hands-on scanning techniques
  • 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


Admission Requirements
To be admitted, a prospective fellow must be a CRNA with an active, unencumbered license. Completion of both a basic and advanced-cadaveric ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia workshop.

Faculty Profiles and Credentials
Each faculty member within MTSA’s Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship has a defined area of focus and is an expert in that portion of the Fellowship curriculum. This includes research anatomists, pain physiologist, physical therapists, pharmacologist, and clinicians.

Fellowship Program Faculty Biographic Information» 


Start Your Application or Request Information Here

To begin the admission process, click Apply Now below for an online application. For more information, call us at 888-353-6872. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. CT. You can also email Terry Owens at

Apply Now»

For more information and to schedule a school visit (optional)

Applicants are invited to contact Terry Owens at for more information and to make an appointment to visit the school.

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CLICK HERE to begin the application process (via NursingCAS)»
Application Checklist»
2021-2022 ASPMF Handbook»
Program Faculty»

Application Checklist

  • RN License
  • APRN License
  • NBCRNA Certification
  • AANA Membership
  • Current CV
  • Proof of Basic and Advanced Cadaveric Workshops completion
  • Personal Essay
  • 3 Reference forms completed (via NursingCAS)
  • 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 $17,500. Three payments of $5,833.33 are required; each payment is due before the start of each of the three courses in the Fellowship. An additional clinical fee of $3,500 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 either have completed a Basic Cadaveric Ultrasound Guided Regional Anesthesia (USGRA) and an Advanced Cadaveric USGRA workshop or be enrolled in both workshops (scheduled to be completed within four six months of entering the program) before being considered for admission into the ASPMF.

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?

Twelve months of Didactic material is presented by 32 faculty members of the fellowship using the BrightSpace online learning management system.  Attendance at a 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.

Are ultrasound workshops required prior to entry into the Fellowship?

Yes, a Basic and an Advanced Ultrasound-Guided course are required prerequisites of the Acute Surgical Pain Management Fellowship and must be completed upon entry or within 6 months of enrollment into the Fellowship and within 5 years of being admitted to the Fellowship. A Basic Ultrasound course consists of didactic and hands-on ultrasound scanning instruction for upper and lower extremity regional blocks with or without a cadaveric component for a minimum of 8 hours. An Advanced Ultrasound course qualifies as a prerequisite if the course involves advanced instruction in truncal regional blocks on a cadaveric model. The Advanced course should also contain didactic and hands-on needling and scanning instruction on a cadaveric specimen(s) for a minimum of 8 hours.