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end-of-life, hospice, nursing students, simulation



  1. Mahan, Pamela PhD, RN
  2. Taggart, Helen PhD, RN
  3. Knofczynski, Greg PhD
  4. Warnock, Sherry MSN, RN


End-of-life care is an important nursing competency and must be incorporated into the baccalaureate nursing curriculum. The purpose of this research was to examine the outcomes of an actual hospice compared with a simulated hospice clinical experience. This pretest and posttest nonequivalent 2-group design consisted of a sample of 65 undergraduate nursing students enrolled in a community health course. All students enrolled in the community health course have 1 day for hospice experience and a 2-hour orientation from the nurse educator at a local hospice agency. Students enrolled in the first 7 weeks were paired with a hospice nurse and conducted home visits. Students enrolled in the second 7-week session participated in 2 simulated hospice clinical experiences on campus. Thirty-two students were in the simulated hospice group and 33 were in the home hospice group. Attitudes toward end-of-life care were measured before and after the intervention with the Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying. The findings indicated positive attitude changes toward end-of-life care. After the hospice clinical experience, both groups seemed to show increases in their mean Frommelt Attitudes Toward Care of the Dying scores, possibly indicating a greater comfort with caring for dying patients.