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Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing

February 2013, Volume 15 Number 1 , p 41 - 51


  • Charlotte Ladd MSN, MA, RN, OCN
  • Karen Grimley MBA, RN
  • Candice Hickman MSN, RN
  • Theris A. Touhy DNP, CNS, DPNAP


The significant role of nursing in improving end-of-life care has been well documented. Yet, challenges remain to ensure that dying individuals receive competent and compassionate care as they face the end of life. Teaching end-of-life nursing care and providing practice experiences caring for dying patients are essential in nursing education programs. The first portion of this article describes briefly the theoretical foundation of the entire classroom experience and the pedagogy of the classroom experience, designed to prepare the students for the simulation experience. The second portion of this article details the simulation protocol. Finally, this article provides students’ responses to 2 semistructured surveys about their experiences, attitudes, and concerns about caring for a person at the end of life, which provide an additional perspective on how the students construct and express themselves to each other. The students’ responses confirm the significance of past experiences to present attitudes, values, and behaviors. The results of the evaluation further establish that incorporating a strong link to a concept of nursing as caring and ways of knowing already familiar to the students helps them to clarify their educational needs and to recognize their own progress to address these needs.

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