Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Committee Chair

Ashley Isaac-Dockery


End of life (EOL) conversations are meaningful discussions pertaining to the patient’s disease trajectory, symptom management, and the patient’s goals at end of life. End of life care discussions have been associated with many benefits for the patient including: decreased healthcare costs, less aggressive treatments at EOL, and a good death. These sensitive discussions must occur over the course of several interactions or spontaneously in the moment in order to support the patient during delicate moments. This makes the nurse the prime candidate to help facilitate and harbor these discussions. However, barriers to communication exist, leading to the omission of EOL conversations, which results in inadequate patient care. Research recommends that nurses who are provided with training and adequate support are able to initiate and facilitate in EOL conversations with patients, leading to positive patient outcomes. The purpose of the project is to develop and implement an educational program about EOL discussions for hospice nursing staff at an inpatient hospice unit with the primary goal of enhancing nurses’ knowledge and understanding of EOL communication, leading to nurse empowerment and improved comfort to engage in EOL discussion. It is proposed that a two-hour, face-to-face educational program with a pre and post intervention survey be implemented in order to decrease nurses’ anxiety when participating in EOL conversations. The implications of the educational program support the use of face-to-face on-the-job training as an effective measure in teaching and enhancing nursing skills, and EOL education should be included in professional development and orientation in areas not traditionally educated in palliative and hospice care.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Included in

Nursing Commons