The Perceptions of Newly Graduated Nurse Practitioners Regarding the Pain Management Education Received In Their Graduate Nurse Practitioner Programs: A Qualitative Study

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Haklits, Rose
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Doctor of Education (EdD)
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<p>Poorly managed pain is a major global health problem. The current opioid crisis exposes a need for pain management reform to prevent opioid abuse, addiction, and overdose. Limitations in knowledge and education of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) is a major barrier to adequate and safe pain management. The purpose of the study was to explore and describe the perceptions of newly graduated nurse practitioners regarding the pain management education received in their graduate nurse practitioner programs. A qualitative descriptive approach allowed for rich, detailed exploration of their perspectives. Content analysis of the data indicated that newly graduated nurse practitioners perceived that there was a deficit in evidence based pain management education in nurse practitioner programs. The findings indicate that newly graduated nurse practitioners: (1) feel unprepared to provide safe and optimal pain management to patients in the context of the current opioid crisis; (2) under prescribe opioids in reaction to the opioid crisis; and (3) base pain management practices on regulatory changes instituted by governing bodies in response to the opioid crisis, rather than on evidence based strategies. The findings strongly suggest that curriculum revision is necessary to include the formal teaching of evidence based pain management in nurse practitioner programs to increase students’ knowledge of evidence based pain management to enable them to practice judicious and appropriate pain management in the context of the current opioid crisis.<strong></strong></p>