Pain Management – NURS 520

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 02/09/2022

Course Description

This course emphasizes the development of the nurse as an advocate pertaining to pain management. Areas of study include societal bias, ethnic and gender biases related to pain management, ethical and legal considerations, and the nurse's role in the development of a therapeutic culture for pain management. This course will establish a sound foundation for nurses to take a leadership role in pain management.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


As compared to other health care professionals, professional nurses spend the most time with patients. The pain science literature reveals that nursing graduates are not competent in dealing with patients’ pain upon the completion of their basic nursing programs. Nurses need to have the opportunity to explore pain science in more depth and build skills in developing a culture of effective pain management across the health care spectrum.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Review the types of pain.
  2. Understand the pathophysiology of pain.
  3. Analyze the implications of ineffective pain management.
  4. Apply the assessment of pain and pain science across the life span.
  5. Apply knowledge of pain science to the various pharmacologic treatment modalities (transdermal, Patient Controlled Analgesia, Epidural, and other delivery options).
  6. Evaluate pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic approaches to pain management.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (3)

The Discussions are designed to promote discussion among class participants and provide an environment to exchange ideas and comments based on the readings, assignments, and personal/professional experiences. The student will post a thread of at least 500 words and 2 replies of at least 250 words each to other students’ threads. Each thread and reply require 2–3 citations formatted according to current APA style.

Developing Systems Paper Assignment

The student will develop a paper that discusses the influence of not effectively managing pain on body systems and overall quality of life. This assignment must be submitted via Turnitin.

Developing an Educational Plan Assignment

Using Adult Learning Principles, the student will develop an education plan for a patient and family (based on a scenario). This assignment must be submitted via Turnitin.

Procedural Pain Management Assignment

The student will use the template provided to review and discuss situations related to procedural pain issues. This assignment must be submitted via Turnitin.

Literature Matrix/Level of Evidence Assignment

The student will develop a literature matrix where peer reviewed journals will be evaluated in preparation for the development of a PowerPoint presentation on a select patient population. The assignment will be submitted via Turnitin.

Population of Interest PowerPoint Assignment

The student will develop a PowerPoint presentation on a select population based on the literature review developed in a previous assignment. The assignment will be submitted via Turnitin.