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advance care planning, education, nurses, palliative care approach



  1. Rietze, Lori RN, MSc
  2. Heale, Roberta DNP, RN(EC), PHCNP
  3. Roles, Stacey MScN, RN
  4. Hill, Laura MScN, NP-Adult


Advance care planning (ACP) is a series of discussions in which patient values and wishes for end-of-life care are made known. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which registered nurses (RNs) engaged in ACP with their patients and understand the factors associated with this practice decision in Canada. One hundred twenty-five RNs participated in this cross-sectional descriptive survey. Registered nurse participants agreed that end-of-life decision making is an important part of their work; however, the majority of respondents did not participate in ACP, especially those RNs who were employed in community settings. Study respondents cited barriers to implementing ACP into their practice such as limited organizational policy, limited expectations of others to engage in ACP, inadequate educational opportunities to learn about or practice ACP, and a lack of patient and family readiness for the conversation. Study conclusions support recommendations for continuing education topics and the importance of organizational support in ACP.