The Impact of the End-of-Life Nurse Education Consortium on Attitudes of Undergraduate Nursing Students Toward Care of Dying Patients

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Abstract

This mixed methods study explored the impact of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC)–Undergraduate Curriculum on perceived preparedness of undergraduate nursing students in the care of dying patients and the relationship between personal loss experience and undergraduate nursing students’ attitudes regarding the ELNEC-Undergraduate Curriculum. Of the 36 undergraduate nursing students who completed ELNEC, 24 reported a personal loss of a close family member or friend to death and 12 reported no loss. Findings confirmed the overall positive impact and acceptability of ELNEC, but this effect was observed differently between students with and without previous loss. Students with personal loss were more aware of the challenges of end-of-life care before taking ELNEC and incorporated the content into a greater sense of preparedness. Study recommendations include placing ELNEC within didactic instruction by well-prepared faculty, creating simulation debrief groups composed of both students with and without loss, and faculty attention to the loss experiences of students.

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