A framework for integrating advanced practice palliative care competencies in nursing education

Binu Koirala, Patricia M. Davidson, Betty Ferrell, JoAnne Silbert-Flagg, Tammy Slater, Rita D'Aoust, Catherine Ling, Deborah Busch, Cynda H. Rushton, Rab Razzak, Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb


Introduction and objective: It is essential that nursing education prepares graduates to achieve the core skills required for the delivery of quality evidence-based palliative care. Hence, integrating advanced practice palliative care content into the nursing curriculum is an important priority. The objective of this study was to develop a framework and describe the process of integrating palliative care into the nursing curriculum to accelerate advanced practice palliative care competencies.

Methods: Case-study methodology was used to describe an educational initiative. Through this initiative, palliative care education and skills-based resources have been integrated into the graduate nursing curriculum.

Results: Varied palliative care learning resources have been incorporated and include sequential lectures, case studies, practice scenarios with identified palliative care needs, articles, and interprofessional palliative care simulations across multiple courses. To integrate palliative care content into the nursing curriculum a Framework for Integrating Palliative Care in Nursing Education was developed consisting of a cycle of five specific processes: 1) Assessment of curricular needs and goals, 2) Identification and development of resources, 3) Integration of teaching and learning activities, 4) Evaluation of content and learning, 5) Dissemination of resources and findings. A supportive organizational structure and an academic-practice partnership were identified as essential infrastructures for these processes.

Conclusions: This educational initiative was vital in increasing the advanced practice nursing workforce with essential palliative care competencies to provide clinical leadership in a rapidly changing healthcare delivery system.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v13n9p32

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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