caring for self, coming to closure, death and dying, grief, grounded theory, hospice nurses, qualitative research, setting boundaries, working with complex family dynamics, workplace culture



  1. Seed, Shoshannah RN, BSN
  2. Walton, Joni PhD, RN, ACNS-BC


Hospice nurses play a key role in facilitating a "good death" for their clients by providing multifaceted care to promote quality of life, symptom management, family support, and grieving. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to gain understanding of the daily challenges faced by hospice nurses and to explore how they cope with these challenges. Twelve hospice nurses participated in in-depth interviews in a private setting at their place of employment. Classic grounded theory was used to analyze the data. The core category of this study was Caring for Self with two supporting categories, Facing the Challenges and Implementing Ways of Coping. Facing the Challenges had the following three subcategories (1) Managing Time, (2) Working With Families, and (3) Setting Boundaries. Implementing Ways of Coping also had three subcategories: (1) Falling Back on Your Team, (2) Coming to Closure, and (3) Creating a Life Balance. Hospice nurses face daily challenges by implementing ways of coping and self-care. Nurses were able to take necessary actions to promote their own self-care. The findings of this study were validated by 11 hospice nurses for accuracy and truthfulness. These categories increase the understanding of how hospice nurses cope with daily challenges and care for themselves.