Date of Degree


Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




M. Danielle Gunter


Bonnie Haupt


Background: In the United States, pain is a widely discussed issue due to the opioid epidemic stemming from a history of pain mismanagement. Clinical guidelines for successful pain management techniques are readily available for providers to incorporate into the individualized patient care plan.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to improve pain management through implementation of the VA pain management guidelines and improved interdisciplinary team communication.

Objectives: This project aims to decrease the number of patients reporting moderate to severe pain, enhance staff/provider communication, and improve the provider’s overall process for managing pain with an individualized treatment plan.

Interventions: Implementation of the practice guidelines included engaging staff in training, implementing new pain management tools, implementing a provider-initiated pain template, collaborative communication, and supplemental education for the patients and staff.

Results: The results of the project showed improved provider/staff knowledge of pain assessment and management, maintenance of greater than 95% in pain medication effectiveness documentation, compliance with individualized pain template initiation and reassessment in weekly team meetings, and lastly a reduction in the number of veterans reporting moderate to severe pain.

Implications for Practice: The significance of this project lies in its ability to highlight the providers’ accountability for managing pain in patients and their role as leaders to ensure the continued assessment and evaluation of patients experiencing pain in this unique and vulnerable population.