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April 19, 2011

Dear Colleague,

I was fortunate to have taken an entire course on death and dying during nursing school. It was an elective and I chose it knowing that I would be working in a critical care unit after graduation. A big focus of this course was communication, which plays a huge role in end-of-life decision making and care.

In the article Life Support Interventions at the End of Life from the American Journal of Nursing, the author shares the following quote from the playwright George Bernard Shaw: "The greatest problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred." The author of the article then goes on to say that it is “especially important in end-of-life conversations not to let an illusion become a reality.

Life-Support Interventions at the End of Life: Unintended Consequences CE

The Inner Life at the End of Life

Patients' and Surrogates' Decision-Making Characteristics: Withdrawing, Withholding, and Continuing Life-Sustaining Treatments CE

Incorporating Spiritual Beliefs Into End-of-Life Care CE

Nurses' Involvement in End-of-life Decisions

Beyond Bad News: Communication Skills of Nurses in Palliative Care CE

Hindu End of Life Death, Dying, Suffering, and Karma CE

Take some time to reflect on your own experiences communicating with patients and family members about end-of-life issues. For future discussions, keep in mind the value of establishing trust, providing reassurance, gathering and sharing information, and providing resources and support. Look to the articles in our More Resources collection for more helpful information and guidance.

Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP
Clinical Edito

Nursing SymposiumBrowse our newest resource collection, Focus On: COPD. Here you'll find our best resources on COPD, its treatment, pulmonary rehabilitation, and related articles and patient education tools. Also, in this collection are PowerPoint slides about lung volume reduction surgery and Take5: Assessing a patient with COPD.

National Nurses Week is coming up and we are excited to celebrate and recognize all of you! We’ve planned to honor you with “daily deals,” that is, access to different content or coupons each day from May 6th to May 12th. You’ll want to check our National Nurses Week page each day to see what we have planned!

Join the conversation! Here’s what happening on NursingCenter's In the Round:


This study sought to compare changes in urinary incontinence frequency over two years among Asian, black, and white women with urinary incontinence. Read the full study report, including results and implications in Original Research: Rates of Remission, Improvement, and Progression of Urinary Incontinence in Asian, Black, and White Women.
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What are the three crucial diagnostic steps for the Diagnosis and Management of Primary Aldosteronism? Find this answer and more, including current treatment recommendations.
The Nurse Practitioner: The American Journal of Primary Health Care
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Review our Recommended CE list on feeding patients with dementia, Healthcare Reform: 1 year later, when anxiety leads to absence from work...


Don’t miss this account of an ethical situation that one nurse faced while working the evening shift as the ED nurse in a rural acute care facility. Take some time to read Family Presence during Resuscitation in a Rural ED Setting.
Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! Share:

Discover the relationship-based care model which encourages nurses to take time to care for themselves. Learn the three fundamental components of Relationship-Based Care: A New Approach to Caring.
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Learn the clinical manifestations of transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI), the most common cause of transfusion-related fatalities, by reading TRALI: Recognizing Transfusion-Related Acute Lung Injury.
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Browse our Recommended Readings on Cannabis use in long-term care, dosage calculation in a nursing program, the QT interval: how long is too long? and more.


Read the articles in the latest Featured Journal online only on NursingCenter. The Featured Journal gives you the opportunity to get acquainted with the kind of coverage and clinical information it has to offer. Get to know our journals. The current Featured Journal is...


The FDA has approved the following new drugs:

  • vandetanib for the treatment of adult patients with late-stage (metastatic) symptomatic or progressive medullary thyroid cancer who are ineligible for surgery.
  • Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil) extended-release tablets, a once-daily treatment for moderate to severe restless legs syndrome (RLS) in adults.

See more drug news.


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