Nursing students' knowledge of and views about children in pain

Nurse Educ Today. 2000 Oct;20(7):537-47. doi: 10.1054/nedt.2000.0472.


It is important to evaluate the outcomes of the given education to gain knowledge about the abilities of our students to meet the needs of nursing practice. Pain associated with different illnesses and procedures is one of the most common symptoms that children experience in the hospital. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the views and knowledge base of graduating nursing students in the area of taking care of children in pain. The data were collected with a purpose-designed Likert-type instrument from all nursing students that graduated during one year from the child nurse specializing program in Finland (n = 85), with a response rate of 86%. Results indicate that students have mainly positive views and attitudes towards taking care of children in pain. The views and attitudes differ when older and younger students and students from different schools are compared. Students lack knowledge especially in the area of pain medications as well as in the assessment of pain. In the knowledge section, the results did not differ greatly when different schools, younger and older students or previous working experience and no working experience were compared. In some of the researched schools, many of the students felt a lack of confidence about their knowledge. There is a need for more detailed education in the area of taking care of children with pain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Child
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / standards*
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Pain / nursing*
  • Pediatric Nursing / education*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Schools, Nursing
  • Self Efficacy
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires