The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium is a national effort to improve end-of-life care by nurses.
From February 2000 through September 2004, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Washington, in collaboration with City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, Calif., conducted 15 training conferences designed to enable nursing school faculty to integrate instruction on end-of-life care into their schools' curricula.
The faculty training sessions provided content, teaching tools and resources in the core areas in which nurses must be competent in order to deliver quality end-of-life care—pain management; symptom management; ethical/legal issues; cultural considerations; communication; grief; quality of life at the end of life and preparation and care for the time of death.
Some 1,400 nurse educators representing about one-third of the nursing programs in the United States participated in the training sessions.
A 2002 evaluation conducted after the first five training conferences found that nursing faculty had added an average of 10 hours of end-of-life content to their schools' curriculum and, within a year of the training, had taught an estimated 19,000 nursing students in end-of-life care per module for each of the nine modules.
Nursing students' examination scores following the training demonstrated their increased mastery of eight of the nine core end-of-life content areas.
About half of the nurse educators also were using the end-of-life material to teach students or practicing staff nurses in settings off campus, including hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, hospices or palliative care centers and nursing homes.