End of life care education, past and present: A review of the literature

Pauline C. Gillan, Pamela J. van der Riet, Sarah Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Research on end of life care education suggests that undergraduate nursing students are largely unprepared to provide end of life care to dying patients and their families. Although there have been attempts to address the issue of lack of preparedness, little is known on how to improve this. Literature Review Aims: To examine how end of life care education has been delivered to undergraduate nursing students and to critically discuss the research on modes of delivery and teaching strategies. Review Methods: An extensive literature search on end of life care education in the undergraduate nursing curriculum was conducted in CINAHL, Mosby's Index, Cochrane Database, Scopus, Eric via Proquest, and Medline. 18 research papers published between 1984 and 2012 that met the selection criteria are included in the review. Findings: Findings of these 18 articles are reported under two main themes: Modes of End of Life Education Delivery and End of Life Care Education Initiatives. Conclusion: This review highlights issues with end of life care education and suggests that end of life care simulation is an innovative strategy that may help to prepare undergraduate nursing students to provide quality end of life care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-342
Number of pages12
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


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