© 2014 MA Healthcare Ltd. Background: Nurses play a crucial role in pain management and must be highly knowledgeable to ensure their practices are of a high standard. Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine the baseline level of knowledge and attitudes regarding pain of nurses working in three teaching hospitals in Dublin. Methods: This descriptive study explored the knowledge and attitudes of nurses regarding pain management. A modified version of the 'Knowledge and Attitudes Survey Regarding Pain' tool was used to collect data. The sample comprised a convenience sample of 94 nurses working in the acute surgical wards of three hospitals. Findings: Three per cent of respondents achieved a passing score of 80% or greater. Results revealed that the mean percentage score overall was 65.7%. Widespread knowledge deficits were noted in this study, particularly in the domain of pharmacological management of pain. Further analysis revealed respondents had an inaccurate self-evaluation of their pain management knowledge. Conclusion: The results of this study support the concern of inadequate knowledge and attitudes of nurses regarding pain. Educational and quality improvement initiatives in pain management should be used, which could foster and enhance nurses' knowledge base in the area of pain and possibly improve practices.