Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Deborah Lewis


Healthcare teams can implement care initiatives to promote a positive dying experience. However, there is a lack of knowledge related to how best to care for dying patients. Nurses do not receive extensive training in nursing school to care for patients at the end of life, yet most, at some point in their careers, experience the provision of this type of care. It is important to ensure that nurses caring for dying patients have been educated about end-of-life care. The purpose of the quality improvement project was to address the lack of end-of-life care education among critical care nurses in an acute care hospital by implementing and testing the effectiveness of an end-of-life care educational program. Kolcaba's theory of comfort was chosen as the theoretical framework for the project. Registered nurses (n = 34) employed on a critical care unit participated in the one-group pretest/posttest design project. The nurses completed the Healthstream online end-of-life care education, and knowledge improvement was determined through comparison of pretest and posttest scores. Descriptive tests were completed to determine the mean score. The descriptive data analysis and tests showed that participants' level of end-of-life care knowledge improved after they completed the formalized educational program. Participants' scores increased from pretest (68% to 100% correct answers) to posttest (93% to 100% correct answers). The primary populations benefiting from the project are nurses, dying patients, and family members of dying patients. The social change implication of the findings is that if nurses receive education on end-of-life nursing, increased knowledge of appropriate care for dying patients is expected.