Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Palliative care is often not considered during care or is considered too late in the patient’s healthcare journey to provide much benefit. The underutilization of palliative care contributes to increased healthcare costs, poor patient outcomes, and decreased patient satisfaction. The practice-focused question guiding this evidence-based practice (EBP) project was whether an education program would increase nursing knowledge regarding palliative care criteria. The program was developed using Rogers’s diffusion of innovation model and a literature review to create educational tools and achieve a sustainable EBP change. An evidence-based decision tree was developed and used as a tool for teaching and learning. Other assessment tools included a pretest, posttest, and program evaluation. Twenty staff nurses from the same department participated in the education program. Registered nurses were selected based on the amount of regular face to face patient contact they have with patients. The education program increased knowledge of palliative care by 58% and validated the need for nursing education of palliative care criteria. The program might be beneficial to disseminate to all nurses who have patient contact. The potential for positive social change generated from findings of this project include improving satisfaction, quality of care, and outcomes of the patients and families benefiting from palliative care services.