Pediatric pain management competencies taught to nursing students in Rwanda: Perspectives of nurse educators, preceptors and nursing students

Philomene Uwimana, Donatilla Mukamana, Oluyinka Adejumo, Yolanda Babenko-Mould


Competency for pediatric pain management is fundamental for nurses’ responsibility in caring for pediatric patients with pain. However, effective nursing management of pain in hospitalized children continues to be a challenge more often linked to competency deficit as a consequence of unpreparedness in the pre-licensing education. Previous studies have established that nursing students exhibited lack of knowledge and poor attitudes regarding pediatric pain management, but none of the studies were done in the Rwandan context. The current study explores the pediatric pain management competencies taught to nursing students in Rwanda. An exploratory descriptive qualitative design based on face-to-face individual interviews and focus group discussions was utilized. Fourteen nurse educators and preceptors and nineteen nursing students were recruited from five study settings to explore their perspectives about pediatric pain management competencies taught to nursing students. Participants’ narratives were analysed using thematic analysis from which six main themes emerged. Participants narrated that competencies related to children pain assessment, pain medication and non-drug pain management interventions were taught to students. However, findings also revealed the challenges that impacted the teaching and learning of paediatric pain management, which need to be addressed for the improvement of pre-service training about pain management in children. The findings from the study suggested further research for a better understanding of the nature of those challenges to inform tailored strategies aimed at improving quality health care provision to children through an improved pediatric pain management education at the undergraduate level.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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