Background: Previous research has demonstrated that nursing education has not prepared nurses to provide optimum end-of-life (EOL) care; and yet, care of patients at the EOL is contingent on adequate preparation of nurses. To date, there has not been a unified or organized effort to broadly address the preparation of nurses in EOL care. Objective: The purpose of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded project (2000-2004), was to develop and implement a comprehensive national effort to improve EOL care by nurses through a joint collaboration between the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the City of Hope Cancer Center. Design and setting: Based on the AACN Peaceful Death document, the ELNEC curriculum focuses on nine EOL core areas. This project is a synthesis of research and knowledge in EOL care and is intended to assist clinical nurses with implementing scientifically based care in practice. Eight national training courses followed the development of the core training curriculum to enhance EOL expertise in faculty in undergraduate nursing programs (five courses) as well as in continuing education programs (three courses). Development of the ELNEC program included detailed teaching materials to integrate EOL content into existing nursing curricula and clinical teaching and extensive follow up evaluation. Results: The data revealed significant outcomes in the report of implementation in the nursing curriculum including an increase in the amount of content, perceived effectiveness of new graduates, and of faculty expertise in EOL care, and a broad dissemination of all modules geographically Conclusion: This national organized effort is a major step toward preparing nurses in EOL care to improve care of the dying.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine