Critical and acute care nurses guide patients and families through end-of-life experiences every day. The critical care literature publishes research, education, leadership, and clinical articles to inform staff and address learning needs associated with this topic. Many universities and organizations provide seminars, educational offerings, and resources to help staff provide comprehensive and compassionate care.
Comprehensive end-of-life education is a goal that may be achieved at every level of nursing education. Many undergraduate and graduate nursing programs now include focused content in association with the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC). The ELNEC Project was developed in collaboration with the City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center in Duarte, California, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in Washington, DC. It provides training in palliative care to nursing students, nurses, faculty, and other health care professionals who are interested in palliative care.
This 2-day education program may be an adjunct to any nursing curriculum; it does require systematic training, materials, and resources. The ELNEC community does this exceptional well. My experience as an ELNEC student helped to improve my confidence and skills as a provider and prepared me to teach others.
This year, a summit will be held October in Chicago. The summit will include a train-the-trainer course focused on critical care. This unique program will offer discounts to nurses who are members of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. Three different train-the-trainer courses will be offered: the Core program, a Critical Care tract, and a Geriatric Tract.
A preconference workshop, ELNEC Extended, will guide nurse through the process of organizing and teaching ELNEC courses within their own organization. This session is open to current ELNEC trainers or those attending the October 2 day session.
To learn more about ELNEC and register for educations programs, visit www.aaacnnursing.org/ELNEC.
Kathleen Ahern Gould, RN, MSN, PhD
Editor-in-Chief DCCN Duxbury, Massachusetts