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Palliative Nursing Summit: Nurses Leading Change and Transforming Care The Nurse’s Role in Communication and Advance Care Planning

Head, Barbara, Anderson, PhD, CHPN, ACSW, FPCN; Song, Mi-Kyung, PhD, RN, FAAN; Wiencek, Clareen, PhD, ACNP-C, ACHPN; Nevidjon, Brenda, MSN, RN, FAAN; Fraser, Debbie, MN, RNC-NIC; Mazanec, Polly, PhD, ACNP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FPCN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: February 2018 - Volume 20 - Issue 1 - p 23–29
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000406
Special Summit Series

Advance care planning (ACP) is an essential component of quality palliative care that requires expert communication skills. Nurses are often the health care provider patients and families rely on when exploring their values and preferences and making treatment decisions. Therefore, communication and ACP was one of the 3 areas of practice addressed during the Palliative Nursing Summit. This article summarizes patient outcomes and nursing actions recommended by summit participants related to communication and ACP. Areas addressed included education, clinical care, research, and policy/regulation. Recommended patient outcomes included the honoring of patient/family preferences and the inclusion of ACP discussions during routine care and across the life span. Recommended nursing actions included the following: (1) nursing education (both undergraduates and practicing nurses) and competencies related to communication and ACP be developed and implemented; (2) primary palliative care, including communication and ACP, be included in the practice standards of all nursing specialties; (3) health care systems support conversations about ACP and related documentation; (4) research be conducted related to the implementation of patient/family preferences and related health care utilization; and (5) regulation and reimbursement be crafted to support nursing practice related to ACP and related conversations at the nurses' full level of expertise.

Barbara Anderson Head, PhD, CHPN, ACSW, FPCN, is associate professor, University of Louisville School of Medicine, KY.

Mi-Kyung Song, PhD, RN, FAAN, is professor and director, Center for Nursing Excellence in Palliative Care, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Clareen Wiencek, PhD, ACNP-C, ACHPN, is associate professor, University of Virginia School of Nursing, Charlottesville; and immediate past-president, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN, is chief executive officer, Oncology Nursing Society, Pittsburgh PA.

Debbie Fraser, MN, RNC-NIC, is associate professor, Athabasca University, Alberta, Canada; and Academy of Neonatal Nursing, Petaluma, CA.

Polly Mazanec, PhD, ACNP-C, AOCN, ACHPN, FPCN, is research assistant professor, FPB School of Nursing, Cleveland, OH.

Address correspondence to Polly Mazanec, PhD, ACNPC, AOCN, ACHPN, FPCN, 1563 Watt Pond Rd, Mt Pleasant, SC 29466 (

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2018 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.