Nursing Certification Process Needs More Focus on End-of-Life Care

The Oncology Nursing Certification Corporation conducted an analysis of nursing certification examinations and related materials to assess how well they address end-of-life issues.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program Targeted End-of-Life Projects Initiative.

Key Findings

  • The investigators reported the following findings in the Journal of Professional Nursing:

    • Just 37 percent of the certification exams and 44 percent of the standards of practice documents addressed end-of-life issues.
    • Seven (25%) of the textbooks had entire chapters devoted to end-of-life care; an additional 16 contained some end-of-life content.
    • On a scale of 0–5, with 0 signifying "no content" and 5 indicating "excellent" content, ratings of textbook content ranged from 1.67 to 3.83.