acute care setting, advance care planning, advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), palliative care, roles and responsibilities, staff nurses



  1. Fliedner, Monica MSN
  2. Halfens, Ruud J. G. PhD
  3. King, Cynthia R. PhD, NP, MSN, CNL, FAAN
  4. Eychmueller, Steffen MD, MME
  5. Lohrmann, Christa MA, Dr rer cur
  6. Schols, Jos M. G. A. MD, PhD


Palliative care focuses on symptom management, discussion of treatment and care decisions, network organization, and support of the family. As part of the advance care planning (ACP) process, staff nurses in the acute care setting are often involved in all of the above areas. It is yet unclear what nurses' roles and responsibilities are and what skills are needed in the ACP process. The themes that staff nurses and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) discuss in relationship to ACP are manifold. This scoping review demonstrates that staff nurses' core role is advocating for the wishes and values of patients with any life-limiting disease. Staff nurses also serve as facilitators, educators, and advocates to help start ACP conversations and ease patients' transitions between settings based on well-discussed decisions. To be able to engage in ACP discussions, APRNs must have excellent communication skills. Continuous training to improve these skills is mandatory. In the future, clarifying the contribution of staff nurses and APRNs in the ACP process in relation to other members of the interprofessional team can lay the groundwork for improved interprofessional collaboration.