Integration of end-of-life care content in undergraduate nursing curricula: student knowledge and perceptions

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Studies indicate that nurses spend more time with patients at the end of life than any other health care discipline (K. M. Foley & H. Gelband, 2003). So it is imperative that nurses be educated so they can provide this high-quality end-of-life care. The purpose of this project was to provide a current state of end-of-life nursing education in the literature and to report on end-of-life knowledge and experiences of two groups ofnursing students in one small, liberal arts university. A total of 111 undergraduate students (61 sophomores and 50 seniors) were administered a 50-item, multiple-choice test to determine their baseline knowledge about end-of-life care. Sophomore scores ranged from 20% to 86% with a mean of 60.98 (SD = 11.83). Senior pretest scores ranged from 70% to 96% with a mean of 83.26 (SD = 6.6). An independent samples t test was conducted to determine if there was a difference in group mean knowledge between sophomore and senior students. Levene's test for equality of variance was significant (F = 4.22, P < .05); thus, a t test with equal variance assumed revealed a significant difference between sophomore and senior group means (t = −10.44, P < .001). The review of literature and student knowledge and experience assessment resulted in the development of a model of end-of-life curriculum integration implemented at the university and sets the stage for future program evaluation studies.


Copyright 2009 Elsevier

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Journal of Professional Nursing

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Wallace, M., Grossman, S., Campbell, S., Robert, T., Lange, J., & Shea, J. (2009). Integration of end-of-life care content in undergraduate nursing curricula: student knowledge and perceptions. Journal of Professional Nursing, 25(1), 50-56. doi:10.1016/j.profnurs.2008.08.003.



Peer Reviewed