Pain Management: Evidence-Based Guidance for Prescribing Opioids


About the Course

Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Physician Assistants (PAs), Pharmacists, and Dentists care for patients with disorders in many healthcare settings. Individuals may seek care for an acute illness or worsening of a chronic condition. Often, pain is the leading reason for seeking medical care. Appropriate prescribing practices are critical for all medications, but controlled substances require special attention. Substance use disorder costs society more than $740 billion annually in workplace productivity, healthcare, and crime-related expenses (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2020). In addition, substance use disorders are complex phenomena affecting many lives. This course provides a review of federal and state-controlled substance regulations and the prescribing practices for controlled substances. The focus is on clinical and safety considerations when prescribing non-cancer-related opioid medications for acute/chronic pain, with information on drug diversion.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the roles of the DEA, FDA, and HHS in scheduling-controlled substances and enforcing controlled substance laws and regulations.
  • Understand the different DEA Controlled Substance Schedules and prescribing regulations associated with the different DEA Controlled Substance Schedules.
  • Review medical marijuana legislation.
  • Describe essential considerations when prescribing controlled substances, including regulatory exceptions and clinical concerns.
  • Describe controlled substance prescribing practices
  • Substance Use and Drug Diversion in HCP.

About the Authors

Humberto Reinoso, Ph.D., FNP-BC, ENP-BC, serves as Assistant Professor and Nurse Practitioner Coordinator at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University. Dr. Reinoso’s clinical responsibilities have progressively evolved as his role in healthcare changed during the past 16 years of clinical practice. Initially, as a registered nurse (RN), he focused on providing the best care possible for patients at the bedside of a busy emergency department (ED) in a teaching hospital in south Florida. As an emergency nurse practitioner (NP), he focused on coordinating and improving patient care in the ED through prescribed interventions and advanced care. Having expanded his role and practice as a dual-certified advanced practice provider, he was granted a greater understanding of how nursing and medicine intertwine. As an experienced Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP), he oversees a full range of nursing care for emergency department patients.  

Robyn B. Caldwell, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, PMHNP, earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from Samford University in nursing administration with an emphasis on nursing education in 2013, A postmaster certificate as a psychiatric nurse practitioner (PMHNP) from Wilkes University in 2022, a postmasters certificate as a family nurse practitioner from Delta State University in 2003, a master’s degree in nursing administration (MSN) in 1996, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in 1990 from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Caldwell has worked in various healthcare settings throughout her 32-year career, including adult and pediatric emergency nursing, nursing administration, and nursing education (LPN to DNP) in community college and university settings. She has published and presented on topics relevant to nursing education and patient outcomes at local, state, and national venues. Dr. Caldwell currently works in a rural urgent care setting.  

How to Receive Credit  

  • Read the entire course online or in print or which requires a 5-hour commitment of time.  
  • Depending on your profession you will either Affirm completion of this course or you will need to complete the final exam with a passing score of 75% or higher. Exam questions link content to the course Learning Outcomes as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention.  
  • Provide required personal and payment information.  
  • Complete the mandatory Course Evaluation.  
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest*  

Planners, faculty, and others in control of content (either individually or as a group) have no relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement

It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.


The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.  

©2023: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.? 

Accreditations and Approvals

Colibri Healthcare, LLC is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

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Colibri Healthcare, LLC is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmaceutical education. (Provider #0607).  

Colibri Healthcare, LLC is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

Colibri Healthcare, LLC is designated as a Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement. Current approval period is 1/1/2022 to 12/31/2025; Provider ID# 217536. AGD Subject Code - 340