Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

First Advisor

Janie Carlton

Abstract

Despite 20 years of work by educators, clinicians, and professional organizations and the publication of clinical practice guidelines, there have been, at best, modest improvements in pain management practices (Berry & Dahl, 2000). Literature review asserts, nurses' continue to have knowledge deficits and ongoing negative attitudes toward pain management. Nurses are at the forefront in patient care and the appropriate skills, knowledge, and attitudes in pain assessment and management is essential in order to provide optimal patient care. The purpose of this study was to assess the current level of nursing knowledge and attitudes toward pain management from Benner's continuum of novice to expert and to determine if there is a relationship between level of education, years of experience, perceived level of expertise and nurses' knowledge and attitudes toward pain management. Two descriptive surveys were used to survey (N-37) nurses' knowledge and attitudes toward pain management (the Pain Management Principles Assessment Tool (PMPAT) and the Nurses' Pain Management Attitude Survey (McMillian, Tittle, Hagan, Laughlin, & Tabler, 2000). Findings indicated nurses continue to have knowledge deficits and negative attitudes toward pain management. Results revealed no correlation between years of experience, level of education, knowledge or attitudes toward pain management. A positive correlation was identified between the nurses' perceived level of expertise according to Benner's levels with attitudes but no correlation with knowledge indicating the nurses who perceived themselves higher on Benner's continuum of novice to expert had a more positive attitude but not more knowledge.

Included in

Nursing Commons

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