First Advisor

Berg, Barbara

Second Advisor

Wimett, Lynn


Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice


Loretto Heights School of Nursing

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

74 pages


The provision of high quality nursing care to the dying has become a significant concern in the United States (Kruse, Melhado, Convertine & Stecher, 2008). The goal of palliative care is to provide care that allows for optimal quality of life for patients and their families (Betcher, 20 10; Mcllfatrick, Mawhinney, & Gilmour, 2010). The recognition of valuable and underutilized zed end-of-life nursing skills may provide guidance for the development of interventions to improve nurses' roles in caring for dying patients and their family members (Reinke et al., 2010). The American Association of the Colleges of Nursing (AACN. 2002) has established a list of fifteen core competencies essential in the provision of high quality nursing care to patients and their families during the end-of-life transition period. This project describes an educational intervention focused on nurses working in hospice and palliative care. The educational intervention was delivered in a lecture sty le format utilizing handouts and discussions to augment understanding. The goal of this project was to enhance the level of perceived competency. in nurses caring for patients in the end-of-life care setting, which generally includes hospice and palliative care. The theoretical foundation for this project was based on Therese "The Careful Nursing Model." The link between this project and this model's theory lies in the understanding that the given areas of care should not be a part of w hat nurses do, but should actually be hemmed by their caring both in action and in belief. This study was a pre-test, posttest quasi-experimental design as randomization was not possible mainly due to the small sample size. Subjects then participated in an educational session composed of Iecture with discussion and handouts based on the TNEEL curriculum designed by the Cancer Pain and Symptom Management Nursing Research Group (20 11) to facilitate learners in meeting the AACN competencies recommended to provide quality care for hospice patients. Finally. subjects completed the Post Intervention Assessment: Perceptions on End-of-Life Care Questionnaire immediately after the fin al education session and again 30 days post education intervention. The overall questionnaire responses were analyzed for each item. Each item score was then totaled. averaged, and compared to determine ne mean differences for each stage of the questionnaire and statistical significance. Though improvement in mean scores was noted between the first and second administration of the questionnaire, the improvement was not statistically significant (p > .623). There is a statistically significant improvement in mean scores between the second and third administration of the questionnaire (p = .00 I). When the combined mean scores for the five lowest scoring items (used to design the educational intervention) on the questionnaire were compared, no statistically significant differences were noted between the first and second, first and third or second and third questionnaire administrations. While this study demonstrated limited efficacy in hospice nurse education using the TNEEL program, further research is needed to help identify methodologies for effectively educating nurses to achieve higher self-reported skills in the identified core competencies.

Date of Award

Spring 2012

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

All content in this Collection is owned by and subject to the exclusive control of Regis University and the authors of the materials. It is available only for research purposes and may not be used in violation of copyright laws or for unlawful purposes. The materials may not be downloaded in whole or in part without permission of the copyright holder or as otherwise authorized in the “fair use” standards of the U.S. copyright laws and regulations.