Newly graduated nurses working in isolation with palliative patients

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper


Aim: This paper highlights the experiences of new graduate nurses working in rural areas, as they face the task of working with palliative care patients in rural health settings with limited assistance and mentoring.

Background: There are a number of complicating factors that will influence how and where a person with a life limiting illness is cared for during the palliative stage of their condition. Nurses need to be mindful of these factors and their ability to offer quality care, which is dependent on the extent of their preparation for this area of practice. Although literature exists about how to provide end of life education to undergraduate nurses, there is little published about the experiences of new graduate nurses working in remote or isolated geographical regions.

Method: Participants who had graduated 1-2 years previously received invitations to be interviewed through the University Alumni. Interviews were analysed thematically.

Results: This paper describes the experiences of new graduate nurses working in isolation with palliative patients.Conclusions: Palliative care is viewed as an important feature of undergraduate nursing education, but is often identified as an area of practice where undergraduate nurses feel inadequately prepared. This paper describes the experiences of new graduate nurses in rural areas in their role of caring for patients with life limiting illness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th National Rural Health Conference
EditorsLeanne Coleman
Place of PublicationCanberra, ACT
PublisherNational Rural Health Alliance
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2017
Event14th National Rural Health Conference - Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, Australia
Duration: 26 Apr 201729 Apr 2017 (Conference website)

Publication series

ISSN (Electronic)1445-3363


Conference14th National Rural Health Conference
Abbreviated titleA World of Rural Health
OtherEvery second year the National Rural Health Conference is held in one of Australia's regional centres and brings together current and future leaders of the nation's rural and remote health sector.

The Conference's purpose is to facilitate the exchange of information from across this huge and disparate nation, to hear about the latest developments in rural and remote health, and to network with new and old friends.

Organisers of the Conference, the NRHA, encourage people at the Conference to consider what actions by governments and others would help improve things on the ground. The Conference is seen as one of the means by which knowledge transfer can be effected: from those experiencing and operating services to the politicians and policy makers who set the context for local action.

The Conference is strongly interdisciplinary and multisectoral, and attracts health professionals of all disciplines, as well as rural/remote health consumers, students, researchers, academics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, government officials, parliamentarians and the media.

The program traditionally has a strong focus on the social determinants of health and wellbeing, and on health service delivery models that work well in more remote areas. Sessions will be arranged around key issues, not around specific professions. For instance, rather than separate streams of activity for nurses or managers or medical practitioners, Conference content might relate to such things as mental health and wellbeing, preventing avoidable hospitalisation, or the role of IT in health service delivery.

The Conference has the capacity to help set the agenda for governments and professional bodies, including through agreement on some priority recommendations for action. By this means the Conference assists with the fundamental task of reducing the differential between city and country health.
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