PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES: To (a) compare pain knowledge and attitudes between nurses with oncology certified nurse (OCN®) status, non-OCN®-certified nurses, and nurses ineligible for certification and (b) examine the relationships among OCN® status, nurses' knowledge and attitudes about pain, patient-reported quality of nursing pain care, and pain outcomes. .
DESIGN: Prospective, correlational survey design. Patients were nested within nurses. .
SETTING: Six inpatient oncology units in three hospitals.
SAMPLE: 91 nurses in three states (28 OCN®-certified nurses, 37 noncertified nurses, and 26 not eligible for certification). Certification status was validated for 105 nurses who were matched with a sample of 320 patients. .
METHODS: Nurses completed a survey, and matched adult patients who were experiencing pain rated their pain care quality and pain experience during the past shift. .
MAIN RESEARCH VARIABLES: Demographic characteristics, certification status, and responses to the Nurse Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain (NKASRP), Pain Care Quality Survey-Nursing, and modified Brief Pain Inventory (Short Form). .
FINDINGS: OCN®-certified nurses scored significantly higher on the NKASRP (82% correct) compared to non-OCN® eligible nurses (76%) and non-OCN® ineligible nurses (74%) (p < 0.001). Only 43% overall achieved a benchmark of 80% correct. No statistically significant relationships existed between (a) certification status and pain care quality or pain outcomes or (b) NKASRP and care quality or outcomes (p > 0.05). .
CONCLUSIONS: OCN®-certified nurses' knowledge and attitudes related to pain management were superior to noncertified nurses. Neither knowledge and attitudes nor OCN® status were associated with pain care quality or pain outcomes. .
IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING: Knowledge is necessary but insufficient to improve patient outcomes; providing optimal pain care requires action. Sustained efforts to improve cancer pain management are indicated.
- nurse certification
- oncology nurses
- pain attitudes and knowledge
- pain care quality
ASJC Scopus subject areas