Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Document Type

Major Paper


School of Nursing




Advanced Practice Nurses (APRN) are the forefront of healthcare that provide care to individuals, families, groups and communities. With the opioid epidemic on the rise in Rhode Island and nationally, it is imperative to teach APRN students safe prescribing of opioids. The purpose of this study was to increase advanced practice nursing students’ awareness and knowledge of safe opioid prescribing guidelines. The design of this study was a quantitative pre- and post-survey, to measure APRN students’ knowledge and attitude regarding pain. The study took place at Rhode Island College (RIC) Graduate Nursing Program located in Providence, Rhode Island. The inclusion criteria aligned second semester senior graduate nursing students in Nursing 620- Adult Health/Illness III, Spring Semester of 2017 who were present for class on the day of the pre- and post-survey. The students received lecture content of Safe Opioid Prescribing within the curriculum of Nursing 620. Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain (Ferrell & McCaffery, 2014) was distributed as the pre- and post-survey tool. Twelve pre- and post-surveys were utilized for data collection (n=12). The results demonstrated APRN students have a lack of knowledge and attitudes in pain management, however, participants were able to increase their score following the educational opportunity. Currently, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN] (2016) reports 204 nursing schools have pledged to incorporate these guidelines into their curriculum. Instituting the CDC Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in RIC graduate nursing school curriculum will increase APRN’s knowledge and attitudes on safe prescribing. To date, there is diminutive research available on the knowledge and attitudes of APRN students on safe opioid prescribing. Further research is indicated.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Included in

Nursing Commons