Acute pain nursing diagnosis is defined as an unsettling sensory experience that is caused by physical or possible tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.
The defining characteristic of a nursing care plan for acute pain is that the patient has to be experiencing signs of discomfort. The discomfort would include everything from nausea, itching, vomiting, or pain.
The textbook definition for acute pain is a state in which someone possesses the presence of intense discomfort or an excruciating sensation lasting from one second to less than six months. When the patient is still complaining of pain, which persists past the point of six months, it is considered chronic.