Pediatric nurses must often care for children with life-threatening illness. Although the child may be a neonate with multiple organ failure, a young adolescent diagnosed with HIV, or a 7-year-old child involved in a serious bicycle accident, pediatric nurses are an essential part of the interdisciplinary team that plans, organizes, implements, and manages the care of these children and their families. To date, more than 600 pediatric nurses have attended a national End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium-Pediatric Palliative Care (ELNEC-PPC) training program. Many of these nurses have returned to their institutions dedicated to making a difference in the palliative care provided to children and their families. Because pediatric palliative care education is so important, many trainers have incorporated ELNEC-PPC into their nursing orientation, annual competencies, and undergraduate and graduate nursing education. They are developing standards of care and serve on key hospital/hospice committees, such as policy, education, clinical care, and ethics committees. This article showcases various activities of ELNEC-PPC trainers and demonstrates their commitment to improve pediatric palliative care not only in their institutions but also on local, state, national, and international levels.
You might have heard about ELNEC, the pioneering nursing education program about end of life, but this article describes it in detail and demonstrates how nurses have used what they learned to change practice.
Pam Malloy is the ELNEC Project Director, American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), Washington, DC. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elizabeth Sumner is a Projects Coordinator, The Elizabeth Hospice, Escondido, CA.
Rose Virani is a Senior Research Specialist and Project Director of ELNEC, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA.
Betty Ferrell is a Research Scientist and Principal Investigator of ELNEC, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA.