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Authors

  1. Ferrell, Betty PhD, MA, RN, FAAN, FPCN, CHPN
  2. Thaxton, Cheryl Ann DNP, RN, CPNP-BC, FNP-BC, CHPPN, ACHPN, FPCN
  3. Murphy, Heather MSN, RN, NP-C

Abstract

Background: Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses require knowledge and skill to meet the unique needs of infants and families. Increasingly, principles of palliative care are being integrated into the NICU setting to improve the quality of care.

 

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to describe the efforts of the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project and its Pediatric Curriculum, which began in 2003 to provide this education, and to also describe efforts by nurses to implement the training into their practice settings.

 

Methods: The ELNEC Pediatric Palliative Care (ELNEC-PPC) project is a train-the-trainer educational program and evidence-based curriculum.

 

Findings/Results: Participants attend a course or receive online training and then apply the education to implement improved practices in areas such as symptom management, care at the time of death, and bereavement support for families.

 

Implications for Research: Experiences with ELNEC-PPC have demonstrated that nurses can implement the curriculum to improve care.

 

Implications for Practice: Continued attention to palliative care in this setting is needed, and future research is needed to evaluate the outcomes of this education and practice change.