Effective pain and symptom management is a crucial part of the care of those with life-threatening illnesses and their family members. Nurses in all settings have a vital role in providing this essential care. A recent summit held on May 12, 2017, “Nurses Leading Change and Transforming Palliative Care,” convened by the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association and attended by leaders of 26 nursing organizations strongly endorsed the importance of nursing's role in pain and symptom management and developed an agenda to advance these efforts. The agreed-upon goals of pain and symptom treatment include care that is effective (as defined by the patient), efficient (delivered in a timely manner), and safe (reduced risk of respiratory depression, prevention and early management of adverse effects, as well as attention to methods to prevent diversion such as safe storage and disposal). Through an iterative process, desired patient outcomes and nursing actions were outlined to support effective pain and symptom management in primary palliative care. These recommendations were categorized as education, clinical care, research, and regulatory concerns. This article reports on the outcomes of this summit related to pain and symptom management.
Judith A. Paice, PhD, RN, is director, Cancer Pain Program, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.
Vanessa Battista, MS, RN, CPNP, is pediatric nurse practitioner, Pediatric Advanced Care Team, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Carol Ann Drick, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, is immediate past president, American Holistic Nurses Association; director, Conscious Living Center, Austintown, Ohio; and director, Golden Room Advocates, Austintown.
Ellyn Schreiner, MPH, RN-BC, CHPN, is past president, American Society for Pain Management Nursing, and clinical educator/supervisor (retired), AMITA Health Adventist St Thomas Hospice, Hinsdale, Illinois.
Address correspondence to Judith A. Paice, PhD, RN, Cancer Pain Program, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 676 N St Clair St, Suite 850, Chicago, IL 60611 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.