Although mandates issued by the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses call for increased healthcare provider knowledge of palliative care, current education does not adequately prepare clinicians to provide comprehensive care to the seriously ill and dying. Despite the rising acuity of hospitalized patients with increasingly complex care needs, the majority of nurses working today have had no formal palliative care education. This is particularly unfortunate, as nurses are in a unique and powerful position to influence the quality of palliative care delivered at the bedside. Our intervention attempts to shrink the "palliative care education gap" by designing, implementing, and evaluating a program of advanced training of a palliative care resource nurse team at a tertiary-care university medical center. Quantitative and qualitative data collected suggest that palliative care resource nurse teams can help improve the frontline delivery of palliative care in the acute care setting and that hospital-based nurses are eager for this information and recognize its relevance to their clinical practice. This article details an experience of palliative care nursing curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation that may be applicable to other institutions who wish to enhance nursing knowledge and delivery of palliative care.
- acute care
- palliative care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Community and Home Care
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing