clinical competencies, curriculum, nursing education, palliative care



  1. Mastroianni, Chiara PhD, MSc, RN
  2. Ramon Codina, Mireia RN
  3. D'Angelo, Daniela PhD, MSc, RN
  4. Petitti, Tommasangelo SD, MSc, MD
  5. Latina, Roberto PhD, MScN, RN
  6. Casale, Giuseppe PhD, MD
  7. Turrziani, Adriana MD
  8. Piredda, Michela PhD, MSN, RN
  9. de Marinis, Maria Grazia MEd, MSN, RN


Worldwide, more than 19 million people require palliative care because of an advanced stage of disease. Undergraduate nursing education should include palliative care as the European consensus suggests. In 2004, the European Society of Palliative Care issued a guide for the development of palliative nurse education in Europe. This study aims to describe the extension and characteristics of palliative care education within all of the nursing degree curricula in Italy, as well as to what extent their topics match the European Society of Palliative Care guide. A descriptive study was conducted through the universities web pages. For each degree, the curricula of the academic years from 2010 to 2014 were analyzed. Sixty percent of the curricula had formal education in palliative care, heterogeneously distributed in different courses and provided few compulsory and mandatory teaching hours. Data on clinical training suggested that education was essentially theoretical, with poor theory and practice integration. The increasing need for palliative care in different settings corresponds to increasing attention to nursing education in palliative care from the undergraduate level. The inclusion of palliative care teaching in universities at all levels of education and research development represent the future challenges for this discipline.