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An Evidence-Based Practice Approach to End-of-Life Nursing Education in Intensive Care Units

Shifrin, Megan M. DNP, RN, ACNP-BC

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: August 2016 - Volume 18 - Issue 4 - p 342–348
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000254
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Despite increasing medical advances, intensive care unit registered nurses frequently care for patients at the end of life. Registered nurses have identified insufficient education as a major contributor to inadequate communication, symptom recognition, and symptom management in this population. The purpose of the project was to increase knowledge regarding evidence-based practices in management related to end-of-life care. Project implementation occurred in 6 intensive care units at a 1019-bed academic, tertiary care hospital and included providing registered nurses with a 3.5-hour classroom-based educational session on end-of-life nursing management. Before the educational sessions, participants (n = 46) completed a demographic sheet and a multiple-choice pretest reflective of foundational intensive care unit end-of-life nursing knowledge. After the educational session, the same test was administered as a posttest. A statistically significant change (P < .001) existed between the mean pretest scores (79.4%) and mean posttest scores (96.7%) of participants. In addition, 100% of participants met the external benchmark of an aggregated mean posttest score of 80% or higher. Future research should focus on assessing specific areas of end-of-life nursing knowledge deficit, determining optimal educational content delivery methods, and evaluating the clinical impact of increasing knowledge on patient symptom recognition and management.

Megan M. Shifrin, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, is assistant professor of nursing, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, and assistant in critical care anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Address correspondence to Megan M. Shifrin, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, 411 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37240 (megan.m.tyser@vanderbilt.edu).

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (www.jhpn.com).

© 2016 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.