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.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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