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nursing continuing education, online education, primary palliative care education



  1. Bishop, Caitlin Tabler BSN, RN, CHPN
  2. Mazanec, Polly PhD, AOCN, ACHPN, FPCN, FAAN
  3. Bullington, Jessica BSN, RN, CHPN
  4. Craven, Heather PhD, RN, CMSRN, CPHQ
  5. Dunkerley, Melissa MSN, RN-BC
  6. Pritchett, Jessica BSN, RN
  7. Coyne, Patrick J. MSN, ACHPN, ACNS-BC, FAAN, FPCN


Because of the growing population of patients with serious illness, the demand for specialty palliative care exceeds the resources available. Nurses must be prepared to provide primary palliative care to fill the gap in the availability of specialized palliative care providers. However, meeting the educational needs of a vast number of practicing nurses poses a significant challenge. Often, institutions are limited in the financial and staffing support that they can contribute for continuing nursing education, especially when the training requires staff to spend substantial time away from work. In order to address this issue, one large medical center conducted a study to examine the educational and clinical practice outcomes of offering an online version of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium Core Curriculum to nearly 100 nurses. The participants were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 received online education only, whereas the other group received the online education plus a 3-hour face-to-face training session. Both groups reported statistically significant improvements in symptom management and communication skills, with no significant difference between the pedagogical approaches. Most importantly, the education resulted in a statistically significant impact on the nurses' clinical practice. The results of this study demonstrate that online education can be used as an effective and efficient strategy to provide primary palliative care education to a large number of nurses.