Canadian nursing curriculum in pain management

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Although pain education has been identified as a strategy to improve ineffective pain management practices, recent evidence in Canada supports the continuing lack of pain content in health science curricula. The health science programs include mandatory formal pain content. Nursing curriculum include the average total time designated for formal pain teaching over the entire academic training program of 31 hours with a total of nine specific national pain competencies related to pain assessment and two nonspecific pain competencies related to palliative and/or end-of-life care needs. Nevertheless the universities are not able to estimate the duration of pain contents and indicate that it is variable depending on the particular clinical placement. The International Association for the Study of Pain established coordinated curriculum guidelines for individual professions, including Nursing, and these competencies represent the expectation of minimal capabilities for graduating nursing students for pain management. In the meantime, an interprofessional group of North American pain experts developed core competencies in pain management for pre-licensure clinical education. This work is an important contribution to ensuring competence in essential knowledge and skills to provide effective pain management on graduation

KEYWORDS: pain management, undergraduate nursing curriculum.

Received: June 23, 2015
Accepted: July 7, 2015