Jennifer Kawi

Associate Professor, School of Nursing
Expertise: Chronic Pain, Opioids, Pain Management, Self-Management and Self-Management Support


Jennifer Kawi has been in the nursing field since 1992. She is a board certified advanced practice registered nurse in family practice with a specialty in chronic pain management.

Kawi’s research focuses on chronic pain and its management as well as the biobehavioral processes involved in chronic pain mechanisms. She teaches both in the undergraduate and graduate programs with backgrounds in critical care, cardiovascular, post anesthesia, and medical-surgical nursing. Kawi has additional leadership and administrative experience especially in licensure and accreditation of ambulatory surgery facilities. 

Kawi has published several peer-reviewed articles and presented in national and international interdisciplinary conferences in her areas of expertise. Additionally, she is an editorial board member of the Asian/Pacific Island Nursing Journal and reviewer for several refereed journals; treasurer of the Asian American Pacific Islander Nurses Association; and serves on the UNLV School of Nursing Bylaws Committee. 


  • Ph.D, Nursing, University of Colorado, Denver
  • M.S., Nursing, FNP-BC, UNLV
  • B.S., Nursing, Saint Louis University

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Jennifer Kawi In The News

Practical Pain Management
October 7, 2019
Fall, with its brilliantly colored leaves underfoot, sunny skies above, and crisp, invigorating air, is the perfect season for hiking. If you’ve been taking advantage of this fun outdoor activity for years and now find that arthritis is holding you back, here’s some good news. Whether you have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, you can still enjoy a hike and reap the health benefits at the same time, experts say.
March 20, 2017
Nearly 30% of Americans suffer from constant low back pain. People who face the condition not only experience aches and pangs, but also, in some cases, large medical bills from seeing doctors and buying medications, long stints away from work, and the general annoyance of not being able to do the things they love. Jennifer Kawi—an award-winning advanced practice nurse with a specialty in pain management—joins the show to talk about how you can reduce or prevent back pain, potentially without having to go to the doctor.
Practical Pain Management
September 30, 2015
Finding reliable objective measures for chronic pain is an important step to advancing pain management. Recently, investigators have identified a variety of pain biomarkers, understood as integral to nociceptive functioning, and have used them as therapeutic targets when assessing exercise as an intervention for chronic pain conditions. However, could such biomarkers function as actual objective measures for chronic pain, as well?

Articles Featuring Jennifer Kawi

People preparing to cut ribbon on new Fertitta Complex
Campus News | November 1, 2019

A collection of local, national, and international news stories highlighting the people and programs of UNLV.

Jennifer Kawi poses next to three skeletons
Research | February 3, 2015

Nursing professor Jennifer Kawi is investigating how self-care strategies might help those suffering from chronic back pain.