Document Type

DNP - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Brandi Pravecek

Second Advisor

Mary Isaacson


Purpose: Palliative care (PC) is an important and yet underutilized discipline in neuro critical care units (NCCUs). The purpose of this project was to integrate and improve PC in a NCCU by implementing a Palliative Needs Screening Intervention (PNSI). A PNSI consists of a list of criteria used to screen patients to identify family and patient PC needs.
Methods: A quality improvement project using a PNSI was implemented in a NCCU. Nurses completed 2 hours of pre-implementation PC education and a palliative perceived self-efficacy scale pre/post-implementation. A PNSI was developed and integrated into the NCCU’s daily rounding process.
Results: PNSI and PC education led to an increase in PC consults and statistically significant increases in care conferences and perceived nurse self-efficacy.
Discussion: Statistical and clinical results showed that PNSIs and PC education impact PC practices in a NCCU. PC education is crucial for nurses' PC practices and delivery.
Implications for Practice: PNSIs enhance PC in NCCUs by identifying needs, empowering care teams, and integrating PC into daily workflows. They increase nurse perceived self-efficacy, PC referrals and care conferences, resulting in greater patient and family satisfaction and improving overall care.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Neurological intensive care.
Palliative treatment.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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