Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2018


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Beverly Lunsford, Ph.D., RN, FAAN; Ellen Reilley Farrell, DNP, FNP-BC, GNP-BC, ACHPN


Background: Palliative care nursing provides care for the relief of pain and suffering throughout the course of a patient’s chronic, serious illness. Hospital-based nurses need to be equipped with palliative care nursing knowledge to provide optimal care for patients and their families to improve the quality of life. Lack of education in pain and symptom management and communication about goals of care can result in a suboptimal and high cost of care.

Objectives: To determine if a brief palliative care nursing education can improve the knowledge of hospital-based nurses about palliative care nursing.

Methods: A cross-sectional quantitative pre-posttest design used a convenience sample of 73 nurses from oncology (n=26), geriatric (n= 24), and medical-surgical (n=23) units. A paperpencil survey was used to collect data. A brief palliative nursing education served as an intervention for the study, with a pretest and posttest comparison for improvement. A Palliative Care Quiz for Nursing (PCQN) was used to assess knowledge in palliative care. Data entry and analysis were done using Excel and SPSS 24.

Results: Out of 73 nurses selected, 61 (83.5%) were able to participate. Paired t-test was used to compare pretest and posttest scores (t value -12.044, P = <0.001). The analysis revealed a highly significant finding that a brief palliative care nursing education was effective in improving nurses’ knowledge in palliative care.

Conclusions: Nurses’ knowledge improved after a brief palliative nursing education. It was recommended that palliative nursing education should be included as part of a continuing education for nurses.

Open Access




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