Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Modupeola Adebayo, DNP, RN-BC

Second Advisor

Alan Michael Jones, PhD, RN-BC, CNE


Purpose: The project aimed to educate medical-surgical registered nurses (RNs) on using the clinical decision support (CDS) tools to complete pain reassessment and documentation. Objectives were to increase pain reassessment compliance, identify perceived pain reassessment barriers, and change current pain reassessment and documentation behaviors.

Background: Nurses are responsible for assessing, reassessing, and managing patients’ pain. Quality pain reassessment and documentation are essential to effective pain management.

Methods: Participants were accrued via convenience sampling in addition to inclusion and exclusion criteria. The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) Cycle was used to guide the pilot project conducted in one medical-surgical unit. Implementation interventions: asynchronous computer-based learning module with step-by-step instruction and demonstration on how to use the CDS tools, dissemination of tip sheets to reinforce learning module content, unit rounding, and distribution of information on the importance of pain reassessment and documentation. Participants were also invited to complete an electronic questionnaire to evaluate demographics and perceived pain reassessment barriers.

Results: 18 participants completed the project. The educational intervention had a small effect on the participants’ pain reassessment compliance one-week post-intervention. By the second post-intervention week, compliance dipped and regressed to baseline. The primary barriers contributing to participants’ pain reassessment compliance rates were time constraints, competing patient care priorities, heavy workload, inadequate staffing, and forgetfulness.

Conclusion: The project results suggest that an educational intervention focused on CDS tools could improve nurses’ pain reassessment and documentation compliance and behaviors.


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