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Document Type

DNP - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Robin Arends


end of life, death, dying, communication, comfort, competence, nurses, COMFORT curriculum, C-COPE instrument


Nurses should feel comfortable and prepared to have conversations about the death and dying process with patients and families (American Nurses Association, 2016). Despite this, many nurses feel inadequately prepared for these conversations (Peterson, Johnson, Scherr, & Halvorsen, 2016). Communication training for healthcare professionals significantly increases communication skills, confidence, and comfort in discussing death, dying, and EOL (Brighton et al., 2017). The purpose of this Doctor of Nursing (DNP) Project was to determine whether implementation of an EOL communication skills program for staff nurses increases nurses’ feelings of comfort and competence with EOL communication with patients and families. The design was an evidence-based quality improvement program. The C-COPE (Comfort with Communication in Palliative and End of Life Care) instrument was used to quantitatively assess nurses’ comfort and competence with EOL communication before, after, and eight weeks following a communication skills training intervention based on the COMFORT curriculum. Findings suggest that EOL communication skills training significantly increases nurse’s feelings of comfort and competence with EOL communication with patients and families.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Terminal care.
Communication in medicine.
Nurse and patient.
Rural nurses.
Palliative treatment.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted