The APN role in holistic assessment and integration of spiritual assessment for advance care planning

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Purpose:Provide advanced practice nurses (APNs) with tools and guidance on spiritual assessment for advance care planning(ACP); to review the literature on the connectedness between spiritual assessment and ACP; and to discuss implications for the APN in application of these concepts with a case study.Data sources:Selected research and clinical articles.Conclusions:There is a disconnect between what patients have expressed as their wishes regarding end-of-life care (EOLC) and what occurs. Spiritual beliefs and values impact patients' and families' decisions regarding EOLC, but if not discussed in advance, most wishes, especially dying at home, do not occur.Implications for practice:Incorporating spiritual assessment in a holistic assessment, it is possible to assist patients and families prior to crisis in sorting out patients' wishes with respect to EOLC during clinic visits. With the use of a simple mnemonic to guide spiritual assessment, the APN can bridge the gap between what the patient wants and what care is received at end of life.

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