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community-based palliative care, home care, mutual support, nursing work life, palliative nursing, registered nurse, sustaining factors, validation, valuation



  1. Penz, Kelly MN, RN


With the move toward community-based palliative care delivery, frontline home care registered nurses may often be the initial contact of care in these settings, with numerous expectations on them to ensure that patients and family members have the appropriate resources to navigate the system. In consideration of these expectations, it is important to examine what sustains these caregivers in the complex roles they fulfill. This article is based on two factors described by the International Working Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement as critical to sustaining palliative care professionals-valuation and validation and mutual support. Three key areas are outlined in relation to these factors: (1) professional identity as a palliative caregiver, (2) partnerships and connections with palliative patients and their family members, and (3) interdisciplinary collaboration and support. These factors are explored within the context of care of home-based palliative care delivery, with suggestions for future research to expand the evidence in this important area. The ongoing goal of future research is to ensure that registered nurses who provide home-based palliative care are sustained through the recognition of their unique knowledge and their expertise as they continue to provide quality care within the community.