Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Kathy Williams


Advance healthcare planning in the community is a responsibility that requires informed decision-making, time, and individualized attention. Advance healthcare planning in the community should be an organized process of communication that is intended to assist, engage, and support individuals, their families, and friends in understanding, reflecting upon, and discussing the loved one’s goals, values, and preferences for their future health care needs. The growing older adult population in the United States has increased age-related morbidities, and life-limiting chronic illnesses that increase the demand for quality, yet cost-effective end of life care. When a loved one is sick and unable to speak for himself or herself it can create an emotional turmoil, and uncertainties for family members and friends. Knowing and understanding the healthcare wishes of a loved one can provide a sense of peace for everyone involved. The purpose of this evidence-based project was to empower individuals living in a rural southeastern United States community with the knowledge to let their healthcare wishes be known. The Advance Directives Attitudes Survey was used to evaluate the project (Nolan, 1997). This project used a convenience descriptive design to provide education to 155 individuals at three senior service locations. Theoretical grounding for this study was Travelbee’s (1971) Theory of the Human-to-Human Relationship Model. The role of the nurse needs to be able to relate to the patient as one human being to another human being, instead of the nurse to the patient (Butts & Rich, 2015 p283 -285; Travelbee, 1971, p61, 157). Limitations to generalization of the project includes that only adults over the age of 55 who speak, read, and write English were already attending a monthly support group to learn about different healthcare and community issues. Thus, limiting the ability to generalize the findings to all community-dwelling seniors.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Included in

Nursing Commons