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The International Day of the Nurses is celebrated annually on 12 May. It is a day designated to recognize the contributions that nurses make to society, and to raise awareness of the importance of nursing as a profession. This year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) chose “Our Nurses, Our Future: The Economic Power of Care“; an invitation to reflect on the current state of nurses as professionals dealing with global health challenges.   

Nurses play a crucial role in pain management, and nurse-led pain management has become increasingly important in recent years. Nurses are often the first healthcare professionals to encounter patients with pain. They are responsible for assessing the severity and type of pain and determining appropriate interventions. Nurses have a unique opportunity to build a rapport with patients, and their assessment of pain often involves more than just physical symptoms. Nurses take into account the patient’s emotional and psychological state, as well as their cultural and spiritual beliefs, when assessing pain.

The nursing job, however, includes dealing with personal risks and difficulties that healthcare systems often fail to resolve, putting strain on this profession as a whole. This is why ICN is asking for more recognition for nurses’ skills, knowledge, attributes and expertise. The aim is to grant access to nurses in decision-making affecting health care at all levels, promoting a more equitable culture and respecting nurses’ role as leading contributors to high quality health systems. Furthermore, policymakers are asked in investing more in healthcare systems. This means to provide modern, adequate and safe workplaces for nurses around the world, that prevent shortages of personnel, incidents on the job and difficult working conditions.  

Nurses who are trained in pain management can facilitate communication between these professionals, leading to improved coordination of care. This can result in better pain management outcomes and improved patient satisfaction. Nurse-led pain management can also improve patient education. They can educate patients about pain management strategies, the importance of adhering to treatment plans, and the potential side effects of medications. By providing patients with the information they need to manage their pain effectively, nurses can empower them to take an active role in their care.

Nurses have a unique opportunity to assess and manage pain, and their holistic approach to pain management is essential in providing patient-centered care. Effective pain management can improve patient outcomes, improve interdisciplinary collaboration, improve patient education, and improve the quality of care.

For these reasons, the European Pain Federation (EFIC) is having a webinar on 13 May 2024, to discuss different pathways in pain nursing such as research, education, leadership or advanced clinical practice. This event will feature members of the EFIC Pain Nursing Education Working Group, offering their expertise to answer questions from the participants. You can register to our webinar here.

#EFIC2025 Congress – Pain in Europe XIVOur next congress will be the largest international scientific meeting on pain in 2025 with many sessions focused on pain nursing and interprofessional pain management. Find out more here.

EFIC AcademyThe EFIC Academy provides you with a range of benefits, such as reduced exam and event fees, access to webinars and Q&As and free attendance at the next virtual pain education summit. Via the EFIC Academy you also get access to our online Education Platform, which includes tailored material to the EFIC nurse curricula developed by leading European educators. You can find more information on the EFIC Academy here.

The European Pain Federation is organising its first Examination for the European Diploma in Pain Nursing (EDPN) in 2024. Registration is now closed, but you can find out more about the exam here.

Pain SchoolsEFIC Pain Schools are courses aimed at early-career European medical doctors and allied health professionals who are interested in further developing their knowledge and expertise in the field of pain management. The courses run for 4-5 days and include an evidence-based approach to the assessment, diagnosis and comprehensive management of pain patients. Visit this page for more information.

EDPN CurriculumEFIC has an interprofessional approach to pain education, recognising the role played by all healthcare professionals in pain management, and has developed a curricula on pain nursing, which can be found here. The curricula form the basis of each of our educational projects.

 To find out more about #IND2024, go here: