Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4016-3256

Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2020

Degree Type

Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Lisa Cranwell-Bruce, DNP, RN, FNPC, APRN

Abstract

Abstract

PREPARING NURSES FOR ROLES IN

END-OF-LIFE DECISION-MAKING

by

Susan K. Laird, MSN, RN

Purpose:

This DNP quality improvement project provided an educational intervention for senior nursing students to facilitate learning better ways to support patients and families dealing with end-of-life decision-making.

Background/Significance:

Aging patients often present with multiple co-morbidities, yet fewer than 37% of patients have advance directives in place and have made their wishes known to family members who will be faced with end-of-life decisions. On the front lines with dying patients and family members, nurses are poised to provide information and support to this population, yet they are not adequately prepared to do so.

PICO:

Will education and training in end-of-life issues improve nursing students’ knowledge and confidence so that they will be better prepared to provide care for patients and families facing end-of-life decision-making when they enter the workforce?

Methods:

For this quasi-experimental study, participants were given a pre-test, a classroom presentation of six original educational modules developed by the DNP student, followed by a post-test, a questionnaire and a participant evaluation. The pre/post-tests were identical, containing questions addressing attitudes and knowledge. The modules addressed cultural issues, family dynamics, and communications skills.

Results:

Fifty-four students participated in the class. Participants demonstrated statistically significant increases in knowledge and changes in attitudes after the educational intervention.

Implications:

It is the goal of this study to provide and evaluate educational materials and trainings which potentially contribute to the increase of knowledge for nursing students and for nurses already in their practice settings. By providing a broader exposure to challenges facing patients and their families facing end-of-life issues earlier in and throughout the nursing curriculum, nursing students may enter the clinical setting with increased confidence and improved comfort levels in their own abilities which may in turn lead to better overall patient care.

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