Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing (ND)



First Committee Member

Susan VanBeuge

Second Committee Member

Carolyn Sabo

Third Committee Member

Christopher Cochran

Number of Pages



End-of-life discussions and advanced care planning are part of the healthcare process, and within the scope of practice for providers. Despite the evidence supporting the effectiveness of these conversations, the system falls short. Talking about death is never easy. At times, it is difficult for healthcare providers to approach the topic with patients who are living with serious life-limiting illness. Reports in the end-of-life literature reveal that healthcare professionals avoid discussions about preparations for end-of-life care due to feeling unprepared, and a lack of framework for such discussions. Purpose: The purpose of this doctoral project was to improve the quality of end-of-life care for patients with life-limiting illnesses by increasing provider comfort with end-of-life conversations. Method: This project was a Quazi-experimental pre and post intervention design. A pre- intervention baseline assessment of healthcare providers comfort with end-of-life discussions through a self-assessment survey and retrospective chart audits was conducted. An educational intervention was completed implementing an evidenced-based tool to guide end-of-life discussions. Healthcare providers were instructed to utilize the tool for sixty days to guide them in end-of-life discussions on appropriate patients. Post intervention data was collected to include a repeat of the self-assessment survey and retrospective chart audits to determine changes in comfort level. Conclusion: Providers reported increases in level of comfort and demonstrated an increase in conversations from baseline.


Advance directives (Medical care); Communication in nursing; End-of-life; Nurse and patient; Terminal care





Included in

Nursing Commons