Date of Award

Winter 12-8-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Susan Westrick

Second Advisor

Dr. Cynthia O'Sullivan

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Ellen Doherty


Pain management education is often threaded into various courses in pre-licensure nursing programs but the perspective of faculty teaching pain management, especially in the context of the current opioid epidemic, is relatively unexplored in the nursing literature. Pain management is a complex process and requires critical thinking and clinical reasoning. The changing paradigm of pain management and the current opioid crisis are of concern to nursing. In light of these factors, the major aim for the study was to discover through description and analyses, the experiences, perceptions and teaching practices of nursing faculty about teaching pain management content in pre-licensure nursing programs. The significance of exploring nursing faculty perspectives is related to evidence in the current professional literature that indicates a need to improve pain management education in pre-licensure nursing curricula. The qualitative descriptive approach allowed for a rich, detailed exploration of faculty perspectives. Content analysis indicated the need to approach pain management education from a perspective of relieving suffering and preventing harm to patients rather than focusing on the opioid crisis. Participants in this study viewed the opioid crisis as distinct from the legitimate use of pain medication. The findings indicate that participants teach the basics of pain management due to time and content constraints in nursing curricula. Participants’ teaching practice was based on experiential learning rather than formal education and often was heavily influenced by a seminal event in their own nursing practice.

Available for download on Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Included in

Nursing Commons