Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


institutional change, nursing roles, palliative care, program development



  1. Grant, Marcia DNSc, RN, FAAN
  2. Hanson, Jo MSN, RN, CNS, OCN


Demand for expert palliative and end-of-life care has far outpaced the availability of specialty trained healthcare providers and the unique programs required to address this need. Educating healthcare professionals is a first step in meeting this palliative and end-of-life call. This article describes a palliative and end-of-life care professional education course and discusses successful nurse-led team projects initiated after the course. Two-person interdisciplinary healthcare teams from nationwide cancer centers were trained to recognize and care for the special needs of the palliative and end-of-life patient population. Following a 3-day course, 199 teams returned to their institutions to implement customized goals for improving patient care. Long-term follow-up evaluation provided examples of teams with nurse members who were successful in initiating palliative care culture changes and in developing/fine tuning palliative and end-of-life care programs. The increasing need for new and expanding palliative and end-of-life programs continues. Nurses are especially adept in developing/monitoring new programs, at leading institutional culture changes, and in addressing palliative and end-of-life patient needs. Harnessing the expertise of professional nurses to lead new programs offers a practical strategy in addressing the many critical opportunities for palliative and end-of-life care.