Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Susan C. McMillan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Alice R. Boyington, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cindy Tofthagen, Ph.D.


Evaluation, Nursing Students, Graduate Studies, Health Assessment, Pathophysiology


Insufficient pain management continues to be problematic for hospitalized patients throughout the country. It significantly interferes with a person's quality of life making it an issue of great concern to nurses in any setting. However, nurses do not do a good job of managing pain. The purpose of this evaluation was to assess graduate nursing students' knowledge and attitudes toward pain management.

Forty (n=40) graduate nursing students were asked to participate in the evaluation. All students agreed and completed the Demographic Data Form, Nurses Attitude Survey and the Pain Management and Principles Assessment. Thirty-eight females and two males participated in this study. The mean age was 35 years old (SD=9.77) with a range between 24 and 62. The majority of the participants were Non-Hispanic white (70%), followed by African American (10%), Hispanic (10%), Asian and others. The mean years of nursing experience was 10 years with a standard deviation 7.31.

The data showed that nursing students demonstrated inadequate knowledge regarding pain management. The mean score on the PMPAT was 66% (SD= 3.61).

The mean score on the Nurse Attitude Survey was 77 (SD=5.8) on a survey with scores that could range from 25 to 100. The higher the score the more favorable that nurse is towards pain management. The scores ranged from 69 to 91.

Knowledge and attitude scores had room for improvement, suggesting that the curriculum of the college could be improved. In addition, continuing education courses could be developed to support nurses' knowledge of pain management.