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American Society for Pain Management Nursing Papers (ASPMN)

Identifier: 2022-029

Scope and Contents

The American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN) Collection comprises materials generated by and for the society from its founding in 1990 to 2010. Of principal interest are the materials produced for every ASPMN annual meeting, which include statements of the Society's purpose and philosophy, information on its organizational structure, and copies of speakers' presentations. Taken together, these talks exhibit the range of issues pain management nurses confront, show the evolution of ideas relative to pain management, and trace the establishment of standards of practice for the profession over this twenty-year period. Related are a series of position statements published by the ASPMN concerning topics such as pain relief for neonatal circumcision, assessment of pain in non-verbal patients, the ethics of placebos, and the problems of addiction and abuse of pain medication. Copies of Society course materials for continuing education and published standards of practice reflect the Society's efforts to educate, unify, and professionalize the discipline of pain management, while the printed versions of the ASPMN newsletter, "pPathways," contain chapter and national organization news, essays, advocacy, book reviews, and profiles of prominent members, among other topics.

In addition to these more public materials is a partial set of administrative records. These include bound record-books that combine various meeting agenda, minutes, correspondence, and related items from the early 1990s; also present from the same period are sheets of financial accounts. Board of Directors' meeting minutes (to 2003) and business meeting minutes (to 2006) are present with some significant gaps in coverage. Correspondence files are quite limited, likely reflecting the more extensive use of electronic communications during this period, none of which is preserved here. Three digital video discs concern digital versions of (1) the 2006 and (2) the 2008 annual meeting materials, and (3) a collection of digital images taken at the 2007 and 2008 meetings. Additional DVDs contain certification course preparation media. Audio recordings and cassette tapes contain sessions from the 1988, 1999, and 2000 annual meetings.


  • Creation: 1990-2010

Biographical / Historical

While the desire to relieve pain has long been a component of healthcare, it was not until the closing decades of the twentieth century that pain management began to develop as a professional field of study, research, and practice. In 1977 and interdisciplinary group of physicians and other interested parties formed the American Pain Society (APS), but nurses involved in pain management came to need a national voice for their own special concerns. In March of 1990, seven registered nurses met in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss the merits of forming a national organization specifically directed to the interests and objectives of pain management nursing. To this end, the seven nurses — Georgeann Abraham, of California; Chris Passero, of Louisiana; Linda Preble, of Connecticut; Barbara Reed, of Georgia; Sherry Sosna and Gwen Turnage, of Missouri; and Lorie Wild, of Washington – founded the American Society of Pain Management Nurses. The founders immediately undertook planning for an annual educational meeting to promote contacts among nurses involved in pain management and to provide a venue for professional development. Interest spread rapidly not only through the nursing community but also among other professional organizations, including the APS, and among corporations trading in the pain field, a number of whom supported the fledgling organization. In just over two-and-a-half years, membership grew to over five-hundred members. Annual meetings have been held every year since 1991. The ASPMN modified its name in 2004 to the American Society for Pain Management Nursing, to reflect a wider calling among its members. Today the Society continues to advance high-quality professional pain management care through its conferences and courses, and through the pain-management certification program. The ASPMN endorses universal access to quality care, encourages public awareness and self-advocacy for pain management issues, ensures ready availability of scholarly resources and best-practice standards for professionals, and safeguards the professional status of certified pain management nurses as members of larger healthcare teams.


6.25 Linear Feet (14 document boxes)

Language of Materials



Materials from 1990 founding to 2010, largely concerning annual meeting organization, mission statements, professional issues, and standards of practice. Course materials and newsletters present; limited set of administrative records.


The ASPMN Collection is arranged in five topical series and a final category for non-document materials. They are as follows: 1) annual meetings and related notes/records; 2) board meetings and related notes/records; 3) correspondence; 4) financial records; 5) publications and reports; 6) artifacts and non-print media.

American Society of Pain Management Nursing Collection
Henry K. Sharp
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2016: Reprocessed-New Accession by Eric Drongowski

Repository Details

Part of the The Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry Repository

University of Virginia School of Nursing
P.O. Box 800782
Charlottesville Virginia 22908-0782 United States