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.


death pronouncement, long-term-care facilities, nursing home, registered nurse



  1. Jackson, Hazel Anita DNP, RN-BC, ACNS-BC, CHPN
  2. Oliver, JoAnn S. PhD, RN, ANP-BC, CNE
  3. House, Kim MD


In 2011, the Veterans Health Administration mandated that Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers develop and implement a policy that allowed registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to pronounce the death of residents who die in Veterans Affairs community living centers, previously known as nursing homes, provided that there is a written do-not-resuscitate order in their medical record. The purpose of this quality improvement project was to determine the extent to which the implementation of the RN/APRN death pronouncement policy affected death pronouncement time for residents who die after 5 PM and before 7:30 AM, on weekends and holidays. This project is significant because the previous physician-only death pronouncement policy was found to cause unnecessary delays in death pronouncement. A chart review of the medical records of all veterans' deaths pronounced by physicians 3 years before the implementation of the policy and 4 years after the RN/APRN policy was reviewed and implemented. The data analysis was conducted using descriptive analysis. A significant difference was found in the results (P < .05). The maximum for prepolicy deaths was 125 minutes. The maximum for postpolicy deaths was 7 minutes. The results supported the assumption that RN/APRN pronounced death without delay.