Improving End-of-Life Care Knowledge Among Senior Baccalaureate Nursing Students
It is imperative that nurses are proficient and comfortable providing care to patients at the end of life. Recent studies show that nurses’ knowledge of end-of-life care is less than optimal. Effective, evidence-based methods to infuse palliative and end-of-life care education into the undergraduate nursing curriculum are needed.Methods:
A descriptive pre- and postassessment evaluating senior nursing students’ acquisition of knowledge on end-of-life care after attending the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) core course was conducted. The course evaluation included qualitative statements.Results:
Before the ELNEC course, one-third of the students had cared for a dying patient during clinical rotations, yet 85% reported they had not received adequate training in end-of-life care. Posttest questions related to palliative care, symptom management, communication, and grief indicated that students acquired significant knowledge after participating in the ELNEC course (P < .05).Conclusion:
The ELNEC core course is an effective way to improve nursing students’ knowledge of palliative and end-of-life care.