Nurses' knowledge and attitudes about pain management affect their capability to attend to children in pain. A modified version of the Pediatric Nurses' Knowledge and Attitude Survey (PNKAS--Manworren and Shriners Hospitals for Children Version, 2002) was used to evaluate nursing competency to manage pain at eight pediatric hospitals. A convenience sample of 295 nurses attained a mean individual test score of 74% correct. Scores were correlated with demographic data. The novice group with 0-2 years nursing experience had significantly (p<0.05) lower scores (fewer correct answers) than the other five groups with more than 2 years of nursing experience. The nurses who participated in professional nursing organizations or nursing committees had significantly higher scores than those who did not participate. Nursing education, professional activity, and years of clinical experience contribute to the knowledge necessary for competency in pain management, as evidenced by higher scores using this survey tool.