First Advisor

Claywell, Lora

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Claywell, Lora


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

110 pages


Seniors make up the fastest growing population in the United States. This population, with their multiple, chronic, progressive, ultimately terminal health conditions, is driving an urgent need to embed the knowledge and skills required to provide high-quality end-of-life (EOL) or palliative care within the education for nurses (Kelley & Meier, 2010). Although nurses routinely provide most of the care to patients at or near their EOL, studies report they feel unprepared for the challenge (Barrere, & Durkin, 2013). Regulatory and accrediting bodies have designated competencies for palliative care in the undergraduate nursing curriculum (Grant, 2013). Studies suggest that the EOL care receives even less attention in continuing education course work (Gillan, van der Riet, & Jeong, 2014). The recognition of the need for a skilled cadre of nurses committed to providing high-quality care for dying individuals and their families has led to adoption of the End Of Life Education Consortium (ELNEC) course for a volunteer group of nurses at a three hospital acute care system in an urban metropolitan area. ELNEC is international, evidence based, comprehensive program that utilizes mixed educational modalities (Grant et al., 2013). This study validated the findings of earlier work that administration of and ELNEC one day course demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in a volunteer sample of 29 nurses' knowledge of palliative care. A limitation of this project is that it does not address nurses' practice change resulting from knowledge acquisition. The greatest implication of this study is that with administrative support, the course would be expanded through the health care system, and promoted at the state wide level in order to acquire a critical mass of nurses able to practice excellent palliative care nursing.

Date of Award

Fall 2014

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

Rights Statement

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