DNP alumna Sarah Bonkowski and Jennie De Gagne and their colleagues recently published an article entitled "Evaluation of a pain management education program and operational guideline on nursing practice, attitudes, and pain management" in The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing.
Nurses lack adequate pain management knowledge, which can result in poorly managed postsurgical pain. This study aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate pain management education and operational guidelines to improve nursing knowledge and pain management. This quality improvement project employed convenience samples of surgical oncology nurses and postoperative patients. The intervention involved an online module, live education, and operational guideline for pain management. Nurses completed pre- and postintervention practice and attitudes surveys. Random chart reviews of intravenous narcotic administrations the day before discharge were completed to evaluate whether narcotic administration changed after intervention. Readmissions and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems data were collected to determine whether the intervention influenced patient satisfaction. A statistically significant improvement in nursing practice and intravenous narcotic administrations demonstrated changes to pain management practices employed by the nursing staff. Although not statistically significant, fewer pain-related readmissions occurred postintervention. Findings demonstrate that targeted pain management continuing education, paired with operational guidelines, improves nursing practice and decreases intravenous narcotic administrations prior to discharge.