Background: Ineffective assessment and management of pain is a significant problem. A gap in prelicensure health science program pain content has been identified for the improvement of pain care in the United States. Method: Through consensus processes, an expert panel of nurses, who participated in the interdisciplinary development of core competencies in pain management for prelicensure health professional education, developed recommendations to address the gap in nursing curricula. Results: Challenges and incentives for implementation of pain competencies in nursing education are discussed, and specific recommendations for how to incorporate the competencies into entry-level nursing curricula are provided. Conclusion: Embedding pain management core competencies into prelicensure nursing education is crucial to ensure that nurses have the essential knowledge and skills to effectively manage pain and to serve as a foundation on which clinical practice skills can be later honed.
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