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Prelicensure Nursing Students' Attitudes and Perceptions of End-of-Life Care

Smothers, Angel DNP, APRN, FNP-BC; Young, Stephanie MSN, RN; Dai, Zheng MS

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000606
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Background It is important that education on palliative care begin early in prelicensure nursing education because of the complex care needs of patients requiring end-of-life care.

Problem Nursing students often lack confidence and skills in providing quality care for these patients.

Approach Nursing students’ attitudes on end-of-life care were assessed using the Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying scale. Students were tested as sophomores, then again as seniors, in a nursing program where the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) curriculum had previously been integrated.

Outcomes Seniors reported improved comfort levels providing end-of-life care.

Conclusion Assessing for improved comfort levels among nursing students who receive ELNEC training could help support ongoing efforts to integrate this education in all nursing programs. Students who had formal education in end-of-life care were more comfortable caring for patients at end of life and had a better understanding of their role.

Author Affiliations: Certified Faith Community Nurse, Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Nurse (Dr Smothers), West Virginia University School of Nursing (Mss Young and Dai), Morgantown.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Angel Smothers, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, West Virginia University School of Nursing, PO Box 9600, One Medical Center Drive, Morgantown, WV 26506 (

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Accepted for publication: August 8, 2018

Published ahead of print: October 9, 2018

Cite this article as: Smothers A, Young S, Dai Z. Prelicensure nursing students’ attitudes and perceptions of end-of-life care. Nurse Educ. 2019;44(4):222-225. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000606

Online date: October 10, 2018

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