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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Mary J. Isaacson

Second Advisor

Mary Kay Nissen


Background/Purpose: Emergency nurses (ENs) care for a variety of patients, including those with life-limiting illness or at end-of-life. ENs are often hesitant to initiate palliative or end-of-life (PEOL) discussions because of a lack of comfort with these topics. Often, these nurses have no formal PEOL communication training which contributes to the lack of comfort with PEOL discussions in the emergency department (ED).
Methods: A literature review was conducted using databases such as CINAHL, EBSCOhost, Science Direct, PubMed, Sage Journals, Google Scholar, and Wiley. Initial search limitations and inclusion criteria included full text, peer reviewed, and published within the last 5 years. The titles and abstracts were reviewed to identify articles that supported the PICOT question. Each supporting article was appraised to distinguish articles of the highest quality.
Gaps: This review identified a dearth of studies specific to PEOL communication curriculum for ENs. In addition, while PEOL communication training is recommended, no information was found specific to curriculum or how often this training should occur to ensure that optimal comfort with PEOL communication is maintained.
Recommendations: Dedicated PEOL communication training is recommended to increase EN comfort when communicating with PEOL patient and their families.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Palliative treatment.
Terminal care.
Nurses -- Attitudes.
Nurses -- Psychology.
Emergency nursing.
Nurse and patient.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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