Implementing a Paradigm Shift: Incorporating Pain Management Competencies into Pre-Licensure Curricula.

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Pain Med

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Pain Medicine (Malden, Mass.)

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version


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OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is 1) to present the historical context and rationale for competency-based pain management education; and 2) to suggest learning tools that faculty might apply into their teachings and their institutions' pre-licensure curricula for promoting conceptual learning based on competency-based pain management education.

DESIGN: Based on the well-documented need to improve the competency of health care professionals in pain assessment and management, an interprofessional group of health care providers collaborated and then convened in August 2012 to develop core competencies for pain management for the pre-licensure programs of study across health care disciplines. This interprofessional group of pain educators achieved consensus on a common set of pain-related competencies intended to be implemented across a variety of pre-licensure professional programs.

SETTING: A group of the interprofessional faculty, who participated in the development of the core competencies for pain management, provides a follow-up of how to implement learning tools within teaching and curricula, based on competency education in pre-licensure health care.

RESULTS: Broad questions about how to incorporate competencies into pre-licensure curricula, for all health provider pre-licensure programs, including how to assess competency across individuals and how to teach in ways that emphasize the demonstration of conceptual learning, remain unanswered. This article reviews how the use of competencies creates historical context for a shift from teaching to learning and concludes with suggestions and exemplars in applying core competencies for pain management in pre-licensure programs.

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