Date of Graduation

Fall 2009


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Susan Sims-Giddens


comfort, comfort care, end-of-life, nursing education, palliative care

Subject Categories



The purpose of this study is to determine the perceived end-of-life (EOL) core competencies needed for ICU nurses to provide adequate EOL care. A survey of Intensive Care Unit staff nurses at a non-for-profit hospital in a Midwest metropolitan area was the sample of the research study. With the implementation of this study, the statistical outcomes can determine the need for policy making, research, education, and changes in current practice. A literature search was completed using Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, EBSCOhost, and professional nursing web sites including the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and American Nurses Association prior to February 4, 2008. Key words included: varying combinations of the words EOL, nursing education for EOL, and nursing care. A survey tool created by White, Coyne, and Patel, 2001, End-of-Life Competencies of Registered Nurses, was used. The survey was emailed through Survey Monkey to all qualified RNs employed in the ICUs at St. John's Hospital. Respondents of the survey ranked the end-of-life core competencies in the order of 1 equaling the most important to 12 equaling the least important. After analysis of the responses, educational needs for RNs providing EOL care are proposed. It was determined by the systematic literature search that there is a lack of education provided in undergraduate programs for nurses to perceive that they have the ability to provide EOL care. Five research studies specific to nursing education for EOL care were utilized for this partial replication study. This research will help practicing nurses evaluate their educational background and determine if continued education is necessary to be competent in EOL care.


© Allison Felton

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